At a company event in New York on Tuesday, AMD chief executive Hector Ruiz joined IBM on stage to unveil the new System x3455, x3655 and x3755 rack-mount servers and the two-way Bladecenter LS21 and four-way LS41 blade servers. They will all use the forthcoming Rev F Opteron processor.
The processor offers support for improved virtualisation and is the first Opteron to support DDR2 memory. In the future AMD also plans to release a quad core version of the processor.
The new IBM systems are an important win for AMD in its battle for market share against Intel.
IBM in April 2003 introduced a single processor AMD rack server, one blade system and one workstation, but had never built out further its product portfolio. The server maker instead relied heavily on Intel's Xeon processor.
Users typically require server makers to offer a broad portfolio of products to allow them to standardise on a single architecture for their entire data centre.
The Opteron is showing strong performance in its overall power consumption and heat production, an increasingly important metric given the rising fuel costs and current data centre consolidation trend.
“Power efficiency will be the number one issue for most large company IT executives to address in the next several years,” said Susan Whitney, general manager of IBM System x and Bladecenter.
The company claimed that its servers will deliver additional power savings through its new 'Cool Blue' software. The technology will be bundled free of charge with all BladeCenter and System x servers. It allows IT departments to monitor actual power usage and heat emissions and limit the amount of power used by a single server.
The chipmaker already ships its processors in servers from Sun Microsystems and HP. Dell is scheduled to start shipping its first Opteron server by the end of this year.
Market research firm Mercury earlier this week reported that AMD grew its server processor market share to 25.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2006, up 17 per cent year-over-year.
The new IBM servers will be available in the third quarter, after AMD officially unveils its Rev F processors.
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