IBM in the begining of this year had revealed the long waited p520 Express and p550 Express line, both proposed in rack and tower format, and especially equipped with the microprocessor Power 6, the most recent of the IBM Processors catalogue. Two choices are proposed according to the speed of clock 3.5 or 4.2 GHz. In addition, IBM signed a commercial partnership agreement with Lenovo for its waited entry line for x86.
IBM thus continues to renovate its family of the always waited Power machines and enriches the software by virtualisation PowerVM (known previously under the name Advanced Power Virtualization) of the Express edition available on the two new models.
The Power6 microprocessor was integrated for the first time last May on the models System p570 in configuration going from 2 to 16 core in only one image. IBM thus continues the grooming of its family of Pseries Servers with these two new models baptized System p520 and p550 Express train. Logic would make you expect these systems would be refered to as 620/650 or p6 520 and 550, but IBM has the secrecy for the classification of its products.
Two new Power6 servers
System p520 express train embarks a Power6 microprocessor to 1,2 or 4 cores given rhythm with 3.5 GHz or 4.2 GHz and a random access memory of 64 GB. According to IBM, this Power Server is in frontal competition with the Niagara 2 of Sun. It was proposed with 4MB of L2 Cache per core (8 when it is about a monocore processor).
A level above, System p550 comprises a Power6 processor with a maximum of 8 cores and 256 GB of memory. IBM presents it like a competitor of Sun M4000 and rx6600 of HP which it “easily exceeds it” in terms of price/performance according to IBM.
IBM proposes a new edition of its software of virtualisation PowerVM which was known previously under name Advanced Power Virtualisation. PowerVM express – the new edition – is available on two new Power servers 520 and 550 Express without supplement of invoicing. PowerVM makes it possible from now on for the System p servers to run X86 Linux applications in binary mode without the need for recompiling, in addition to the applications developed for the Power platforms in Unix & Linux environment.
IBM points out that it has controlled virtualization technologies for more than 40 years on its central systems. According to the manufacturer, nearly 70% of the servers based on Power6 run in virtualized mode. The image below illustrate the three virtualizaition Editions the come up with P6.
Always in the field of Power6, the blade servers JS21 and JS22 functioning with Power6 processors were installed in the IBM Enterprise BladeCenter Chassis or IBM BladeCenter H. From now on they will be also supported in the new small-Business frame BladeCenter S. IBM indicates that BladeCenter S is meant to function in Office enviornment.
Partnership with Lenovo for the waiters x86
IBM forever hidden its intention to concentrate on the servers of medium and high-end, even if IBM also proposes server containing x86. Big Blue has just signed a licensing agreement with Lenovo making it possible to the Chinese manufacturer to resell their x86 Servers, initially on the Chinese market and then in the whole world. According to this agreement, Lenovo will market servers with 1 and 2 ways based on X86 technology under its own brand. After the workstations and the portables, the Chinese manufacturer thus goes up in power. Let us recall that the Chinese manufacturer has announced few weeks back that it would stop using the IBM mark the next year, that is two years earlier than what was envisaged in the contract which bound the two companies. According to the terms of the agreement, Lenovo could indeed capitalize on the IBM mark and all its derivatives, in particular Thinkpad which acquired a strong notoriety in the field of the portables.