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IBM Introduces the First Products in a New Generation of Power Systems

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At COMMON in Nashville, IBM Wednesday introduced the first of a new generation of Power Systems that will provide IBM System i and System p clients a single, unified line of servers with simplified pricing, increased application choice, and reduced energy and administration costs.

The new Power Systems servers from IBM will incorporate industry-leading POWER6 processors and will support AIX, Linux, and i applications simultaneously on a single server system. Existing System i customers can easily increase both performance and energy efficiency by moving their mission-critical applications to new systems--including cost effective new blade options--using the same i applications and operating system they have depended on for two decades, the company said.

EnergyScale Technology

Users will also have access to POWER6 EnergyScale Technology, which offers advanced energy control features, and PowerVM virtualization technology that enables them to create up to 160 virtual partitions in a single system, dramatically improving the utilization of the servers, said IBM. Additionally, IBM's secure and integrated operating system, i5/OS, will now be called simply "i"-signifying a simplified, streamlined experience for all "i" customers across the Power Systems portfolio. V6R1 will now be called simply 6.1 in accordance with industry convention. The Power servers running i will be available as integrated offerings, will be easy to configure, buy, install and run, will be called "i Editions," and will be sold alongside integrated Linux Editions and AIX Editions for AIX customers. Customers can also order a-la-carte and mix and match i, AIX and Linux on a single Power server. This will give users enhanced flexibility and allow them to leverage their investments, said IBM.

With the announcement, IBM is making it increasingly easy for its Business Partners to sell and manage a combination of solutions across multiple operating systems on the Power server platform, IBM said. The company said it recognizes and values the investments that Business Partners have made to certify sales and technical staff to sell System i and System p. These certifications will enable Business Partners from both platforms to sell the new unified platform with the operating systems for which they have skills and authorization, said the company.

Broader Market Options

The new Power platform will also provide ISVs a single platform for IBM i, AIX, and Linux solutions, making it simpler for ISVs to help customers choose the right solution for their business. The new Power platform offers IBM's ISV partners new potential for a wider audience and new products, especially if they have a portfolio of solutions that run on multiple operating systems.

"The newly unified IBM Power Systems product line brings tremendous value and investment protection to our clients, said Ross Mauri, general manager of IBM Power Systems. "Over the last few years we have been sharing more and more technology between System i and System p in preparation to enable clients to leverage the same platform," he said. "This unification, embodied in the first of a new generation of power systems, will create additional opportunities for our clients to optimize their IT infrastructures," Mauri said.

COMMON Reaction

"We're delighted that IBM chose to make this announcement at COMMON," said Randy Dufault, COMMON president. "COMMON members gave IBM their input on these ideas beforehand, and we are 100 percent behind them. We believe they will be positive for our members and anticipate that they could well contribute to an upswing in our organization's membership in years to come as we reach out to new members," he said. Dufault noted that attendance at this year's conference was more than 1,800 with some 92 vendors, 12 more than last year. While the number registered was about the same as last year, a greater percentage attended the full conference this year as opposed to attending just the expo on a day pass.

Marking the 20th Anniversary of the AS/400

Mark Shearer, vice president of Marketing and Offerings, IBM Business Systems, Systems and Technology Group said, "Just about 20 years ago, we took two successful products, the System/36 and the System/38, and we unified them into the AS/400 and really drove a leading solution for the mid-market with the combined capabilities. With this launch, we're doing that again by unifying two families of products into a single product family and allowing the clients to virtualize and combine any amount of i5/OS (IBM i), AIX, or Linux on a platform."

"As you know, the System i has been capable of this for several years, but we're doing this on a consolidated hardware platform now so there will be one set of hardware products with one set of hardware prices, one set of terms and conditions, one set of maintenance terms flexible enough to run any combination of i5/OS (IBM i), AIX, and Linux, and it should be a lot more affordable now for clients to virtualize these different operating environments on a power platform," Shearer said.

Three New Products

The first products to debut from this new line are designed for small and medium businesses (SMBs). The i Edition Express for BladeCenter S, IBM Power 520 Express, and Power 550 Express deliver value and performance in a package that is suitable for the budget constraints and limited administrative assets of SMBs, IBM said.

"The majority of our clients--over 90 percent--are in the types of machines like the 520 and 550," said Ian Jarman, manager, Power Systems Software, IBM Power Systems. "Obviously we wanted to make the announcement of the unification and those products to our i community, and there is no better place to do that than here at COMMON," he said.

Following are details on the products that were announced Wednesday at COMMON:

 

  • *i Edition Express for BladeCenter S offers an upgrade path for existing AS/400, iSeries, and System i 515, 520 and 525 customers--both financially and to simplify the integration of their i applications with existing x86 servers. With prices starting at about half the price of non-blade configurations with the same processing capacity, the economic value proposition will be particularly attractive to i customers, business partners, and ISVs, the company said. And with three-years' maintenance included, the lease price will often be less than what many i customers pay today. Customers can achieve even higher value by moving existing x86 servers onto x86 blades in the same BladeCenter chassis for increased simplicity, more integration, common leasing and three-year maintenance terms.
  • *The IBM Power 520 Express offers an affordable server for businesses running distributed applications and databases and comes in AIX, Linux and i Editions.
  • *The IBM Power 550 Express demonstrates outstanding performance in a mid-sized database server, delivering outstanding capacity and continuous application availability. The Power 550 also comes in AIX, Linux and i Editions.

"The JS12 Blade, which will be a one-way/two-way blade in our BladeCenter family, will be available in a BladeCenter S i Edition and will be priced at parody with a comparably configured Power 520," Shearer said. "Our clients will have a choice as they implement Power6...to implement the next generation i as either a classic rack or tower, with Power 520 or Power 550, or in a bladed form factor, and there (will be)... really no financial obstacle (when)... considering a BladeCenter environment for those who want to integrate a Windows server with their i," said Shearer.

Power Systems Financing

IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing business segment of IBM has developed a suite of IBM Power Systems product line financing offerings to make it easier for customers to acquire the new technology. For more information on IBM Global Financing monthly leasing packages, simplified financing, mid-lease upgrade ability or asset recovery and buyback services of older equipment visit http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23746.wss.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit ibm.com.

The IBM business model is built to support two principal goals: helping clients succeed in delivering business value by becoming more innovative, efficient and competitive through the use of business insight and information technology (IT) solutions; and, providing long-term value to shareholders. The business model has been developed over time through strategic investments in capabilities and technologies that have the best long-term growth and profitability prospects based on the value they deliver to clients. The company's strategy is to focus on the high-growth, high-value segments of the IT industry. The company's global capabilities include services, software, hardware, fundamental research and financing. The broad mix of businesses and capabilities are combined to provide business insight and solutions for the company's clients.

________________

 

MC Press Online's staff of reporters and editors are trained professionals who share a background in journalism and have a passion for technology. Many have been in the IBM midrange industry for more than 20 years and have a keen sense of what's important to IBM i and Power Systems users. If you have a news tip, story idea, or press release, email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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