IBM Unveils Linux Web-Tier Consolidation Machine

IBM System p5(TM) 560Q and "Integrated Stack," Part of a New Family of Three Web-Tier Consolidation Solutions

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unleashed a new powerful IBM POWER5™ processor-based midrange server aimed at dramatically improving IT efficiency and reducing the energy, space and system costs that can accompany the proliferation of x86 Linux® servers. Able to handle up to 160 virtual server images at one time per system using the optional Advanced POWER™ Virtualization (APV) feature, the new 1.8 GHz IBM System p5 560Q (16-core) is the most powerful member of a new family of three web-tier consolidation solutions.

These solutions include the IBM BladeCenter® JS21 for Web Serving Farms solution with up to 14 blades per system for the middle and low end; as well as Express Offerings that start with just a single PowerPC™ processor-based blade or 1U rack system. All three web-tier consolidation solutions utilize IBM's Advanced POWER Virtualization (APV) to allow up to 10 virtual server images per core. The solutions can be used with Novell's new Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux Enterprise (ISSLE) for System p, also announced today.

Virtualization Extends Consolidation

The System p5 560Q offers advanced virtualization features, such as partitioning that allows clients to run multiple virtual machines on one system, and award-winning Advanced POWER Virtualization that runs multiple partitions per processor. This virtualization technology enables the sharing of I/O, and autonomically allocates additional resources to the application as needed. By incorporating virtualization the system allows clients to consolidate up to 320 x86 Linux applications installed across 8 racks with 42 1U servers per rack into just one rack of five 560Q (16-core) servers running 320 virtualized server images saving up to an estimated 80 percent floor space.(1)

To further expand simplification of the system, IBM's web-tier consolidation solutions also leverage the IBM Systems Director software to allow IT managers to easily deploy, view and manage all physical and virtual resources within a data center from a single dashboard view, for improved operating efficiency. Combined with the IBM Tivoli® enterprise service management software, a client can manage their entire set of resources including web applications.

IBM's New System p5 560Q Outperforms Competition with Industry Standard Benchmark Leadership

Based on IBM's fastest ever QCM (Quad-Core Module) POWER5+™ processor technology with simultaneous multithreading with up to 32 threads to support HPC or web-tier clustered applications, the System p5 560Q platform offers unique, scalable building block features that scale from 4 to 16 cores per system, and up to 80 cores per rack.

The p5-560Q also has advanced RAS features including built-in redundancy and superior design, helping to provide higher application availability and meet demanding client Service Level Agreements. The system offers the ability to run the AIX 5L™ operating systems, Red Hat Enterprise or Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux operating systems, or any combination of the three, making it both a competitive addition to our leadership midrange UNIX® line as well as the highest performing member of our three new web-tier consolidation solutions. The p5-560Q offers impressive benchmark leadership, such as:

* 16-core SPECompM2001 is the best of Linux systems by 77%; beats HP AlphaServer (16-core) by 76%; and is over 3 times Sun V890 (16-core) (2)
* Delivers over 17% greater LINPACK performance than a 16-core HP rx8620 (3)
* The p5-560Q (16-core) with the AIX 5L OS delivers over twice the SPECjbb2005 performance of the 16-core Sun V890 (4)
* Surpasses 16-core Sun V890 in Lotus® NotesBench D7 R6iNotes benchmark by over 37% in performance and 31% in price/performance. (5)

"The new 560Q delivers outstanding performance through quad-core technology, new I/O drawer support, and superior virtualization offerings which makes it both a hot new midrange offering in our UNIX server line as well as the server of choice for clients that want to save money by consolidating their Linux web server environments," said Scott Handy, vice president, Linux and Open Source, IBM. "Whether consolidating 320 1U x86 servers to one rack with the new 560Q or consolidating 12 servers to a blade or 1U server at the low end with our new integrated stack, IBM System p is changing the economics of Linux web serving with these new powerful solutions."
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"IBM's virtualization technology and RAS features on IBM System p5 servers, combined with the flexibility, openness and stability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, have given us a competitive advantage and enabled new opportunities for our customers," said Jan Aril Sigvartsen, CEO, WebDeal AS.

"IBM's portfolio of web-tier solutions combined with their advanced virtualization and management capabilities offers users real cost saving alternatives on proven IBM technology," said Ken Simon, Vice President of Sales for Enterico, a division of Continental Resources. "This complements our expertise in streamlining data center infrastructure and management and delivering the latest technology solutions to our customers."

New Version of Novell Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux Enterprise Now Supports IBM System p Racks and Blades

With today's announcement, the company's System p server runs the Integrated Stack for SUSE Linux Enterprise (ISSLE), a software bundle that combines SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell with a mixture of open- and private-source software from IBM and Centeris.

The offering is ideal for small and medium businesses for serving file and print, Web applications, and database functionality. It provides organizations using Microsoft® Windows® software more choice and flexibility by making it easier to integrate Linux servers into Windows environments. The secure mixed-source software stack, now supported on IBM System p servers, can be integrated and installed by channel partners offering enhanced security, reliability and performance at a highly attractive cost compared to alternative solutions. The ISSLE solution was tested with IBM System Storage™ to ensure a solid foundation for consolidation today and growth for tomorrow.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell offers small and medium businesses the flexibility to choose the components they'd like to deploy, which include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell, plus no-license fee versions of both IBM WebSphere® Application Server Community Edition with web-tier clustering support and IBM DB2® Express-C. It also includes a year's license to Centeris Likewise Management Suite to allow management of Linux servers from within an existing Windows server environment. In addition to now supporting IBM System p and PowerPC processor-based BladeCenter blades, ISSLE also supports IBM System x and x86-based blades and lists for $349 US for both POWER and x86-based environments.

New Family of IBM Web-Tier Solutions

Today's announcement adds new solutions and updates existing web-tier consolidation solutions to help customers reduce cost, power, and space, and simplify management and operations of their web-tier infrastructures. Whether consolidating 320, 160 or just 12 servers at a time, the family of web-tier solutions targeted at helping clients end server sprawl and take back control of the Linux web-tier also includes:

* The new IBM System p5 560Q-based web-tier consolidation solution is the most powerful member of the family, best used to consolidate 320 x86-based Linux web servers at a time on to just a single rack of five 560Qs.
* For medium-size environments, IBM offers the BladeCenter JS21 for Web Serving Farms solution -- a fully populated BladeCenter chassis with 14 JS21 blades and Advanced POWER Virtualization (APV) standard. When delivered with the new ISSLE solution announced today that includes Linux, Apache and PHP scripting tools, the IBM BladeCenter JS21 is an affordable alternative to less flexible, rack-based x86 servers. The JS21 blade is designed to provide a scalable and energy-efficient response for businesses of all sizes facing the challenges of datacenter power, floor space constraints, remote management and performance. It effectively balances the requirement to lower total cost of ownership while still remaining responsive to client needs. Customers could consolidate 168 Linux x86 servers onto just 1 BladeCenter Chassis with 14 blades installed providing up to 56 POWER processor-based cores using IBM's Advanced POWER Virtualization.
* For businesses with a few web servers to consolidate, the IBM BladeCenter with one or two JS21 blades and APV or the 1U System p5 505 Express or the quad-core System p5 505Q Express is an ideal starting solution. When combined with Advanced POWER Virtualization and the new ISSLE solution, customers could consolidate 12 Linux x86 web-tier servers onto just 1 blade or quad-core POWER processor-based server.

The IBM System p5 560Q is planned to be available on February 23, 2007 with a starting US list price of $43,800. The Web Serving Farm solution with a BladeCenter H chassis and 14 blades has a starting list price of $38,835. The System p5 505 Express has a starting US list price of $3,717 and the quad-core System p5 505Q Express has a starting US list price of $5,505. (6)

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