IBM announced two new mid-range Unix servers that the company claims will provide better performance than competing systems at a lower cost.
The new systems, the deskside p620 and the rack-mountable p660, each can accommodate as many as six CPUs that utilise IBM's Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, allowing faster speeds without higher temperatures.
About a year and a half ago, IBM delivered its SOI copper microprocessing technology to the high-end Unix server market, which it claims changed the price/performance in the market at the time.
"This was an aggressive stance of actions we were taking into the marketplace," said Mike Kerr, IBM vice president, e-server marketing.
Kerr pointed out that in contrast to the IBM systems, Sun's comparable server, the SunFire 3800, is up to 88 per cent more expensive, consumes nearly three times more electricity and generates tremendous amounts of heat.
He said the new models improve performance 30 per cent in most cases and about 40 per cent in top-end models that use IBM's fastest Unix server chip.
The p660 and p620 also include self-management and reliability features derived from IBM's mainframe Chipkill technology that virtually eliminates memory failures. Chipkill automatically takes the inoperative memory chip offline while the server keeps running.
According to market research firm IDC, the Unix server market grew 14 per cent from $25.5bn in 1999 to $29 billion in 2002.
IBM also announced a new release of its AIX version of the Unix operating system, AIX 5L, which allows customers to build, run and maintain applications across both Unix and Linux. Specifically tuned for Linux, the Linux affinity layer, which resides on top of AIX, means that software companies or customers who have access to the source code can more easily bring Linux software to IBM systems.
Kerr said IBM has also added the AIX Toolbox for Linux applications. The toolbox is a collection of more than 200 open source tools and applications.
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