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IBM Presents ‘Virtualization-Ready’ Blade Server

HS21 XM Blade with Embedded VMware Hypervisor Makes Transition to Server Virtualization Reliable and Easy

(PresseBox) (Stuttgart, ) IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new blade server with an embedded VMWare hypervisor, allowing clients to adopt virtualization quickly and easily. The new BladeCenter HS21 XM with the embedded VMware ESX 3i hypervisor will help customers accelerate server virtualization or upgrade to more advanced virtualization capabilities while providing a high level of reliability and simplifying system management.

The HS21 XM will be ready for virtualization right out of the box thanks to an internal, enterprise-level 4GB flash drive pre-installed with VMware ESX 3i - VMWare s ultra-thin hypervisor designed for reliable and secure virtualization. With a 4GB modular flash drive, the HS21 XM has more room for systems management technology.

"IBM has been a leader in server consolidation and virtualization for close to 40 years, designing products for virtualized environments such as the IBM BladeCenter. Now, with the pre-tested and optimized integration of VMware ESX 3i on the HS21 XM blade, virtual machines can be configured and deployed in a matter of minutes," said Alex Yost, vice president IBM BladeCenter. "Our customers can experience integrated virtualization from IBM and VMware that delivers huge advantages in optimizing time, efficiency and total cost of ownership."

Time, space and budget savings

The HS21 XM saves space and time by allowing clients to consolidate multiple servers on to one, minimizing server sprawl, and reducing new application deployment time. The IBM blade also features solid state drives, which enhance the reliability of the blade solution -- fewer moving parts mean fewer failures and less server downtime. IBM is the only vendor to feature solid state drives in its blade servers.

The HS21 XM was designed specifically for virtualization with the additional memory and fast I/O required because virtualized servers use more of their processing power. With VMware ESX 3i, the HS21 XM significantly reduces deployment time for virtualization - allowing clients to go from booting the blade server to running virtual machines in a matter of minutes.

"VMware and IBM have worked together since 2000 to bring the value of virtualization to our many joint customers," said Diane Greene, president and chief executive officer, VMware. "With the VMware hypervisor embedded in IBM s BladeCenter line, we re making it easier for more people to try virtualization, expand adoption after they experience the quick time to value, and upgrade to more powerful virtualization capabilities across their datacenters and on the desktop."

IBM previewed in September the System x3850 M2 with an embedded VMware ESX 3i hypervisor and was recognized with the Best of Show Award for VMWorld 2007. Like the HS21 XM, the x3850 M2 will be ready for virtualization right out of the box. Based on the fourth generation of its X-Architecture chipset technology, eX4, the high-end, scalable server features four times the amount of memory on a single chassis compared to its predecessor, enabling more virtualization workloads.

In recent performance test results, the IBM System x3850 M2 with VMware ESX 3i was able to support 16,000 Microsoft Exchange mailboxes running in VMware virtual machines -- a new industry benchmark leveraging embedded hypervisor functionality.

The VMware ESX 3i hypervisor is based on core VMware virtualization technology in use by more than 100,000 customers. It is the industry s smallest footprint hypervisor (32MB), enabling high levels of security and reliability, and it is the only OS-independent virtualization platform. VMware ESX 3i delivers single-server consolidation with fast and easy deployment. The first virtual machine can operate within minutes of booting a server with pre-configured and optimized hardware configurations.


The HS21 XM will be available in the second quarter of 2008 at a starting price of $7,545, which includes two processors, 4GB of memory, a 4GB modular flash drive and VMware ESX 3i. The System x3850 M2 will also be available in second quarter.

About IBM BladeCenter

IBM has the broadest portfolio of blade offerings in the industry, including five blade enclosures, five compatible server blades and five I/O fabrics with a common architecture that allows clients to mix and match offerings. IBM has also taken a unique approach in the industry by opening up the IBM BladeCenter hardware architecture, which has created market and revenue opportunities for hundreds of companies selling peripherals like network and storage cards, switches and software. Since opening the BladeCenter specifications in 2004, 500 companies have downloaded the specifications for free. For more information about IBM BladeCenter, please visit: