Hoping to benefit from the increasingly tight budgets of telecoms service providers, IBM has released two Intel-based Linux servers it claims come at almost half the price and twice the power than Unix servers from rival, Sun Microsystems.
IBM compared the performance of its new Linux/Intel eServer, the x343, against Sun's SPECWeb99.
Test results were posted at www.spec.org by Sun, for its Netra products running the Solaris operating system on Sparc chips, at the end of last year.
The tests compare web-serving performance - an increasingly important application for service providers.
IBM said the new systems running Linux performed 58 per cent better than a competing Sun Netra 20 server. It also maintains its systems cost 40 per cent less than the Sun servers.
IBM is expected to post its own test results on the spec site by 1 April 2002.
Big Blue is targeting Sun and its Solaris operating system because with Solaris, Sun has long offered telcos a stable platform for their operations. That has enabled the company to build a large and long established customer base in the telecoms industry.
But the rise of Linux combined with IBM's backing for the open source platform could yet win over the traditionally conservative telcos to the new environment.
Hoping to speed that conversion, IBM has also opened a Linux Service Provider Lab in Beaverton, Oregon, that it said will help telco customers with testing applications and hardware on the Linux platform.
Set to start shipping worldwide at the end of April, the planned IBM eServer x343 is a two-processor server running Linux.
IBM said the new machine meets level 3 of the network equipment building system (NEBS) standards that measure how resilient a server is against harsh conditions.
It has also added level 3 NEBS qualification to its lower-end x330, which should start shipping at the end of April.
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