|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / August 4, 2006|
IBM has announced it is extending its line of AMD Opteron processor-based servers in response to customer demand for greater choice in the rapidly expanding x86 segment, of which blade servers lead in the transformation of today's datacenter. The new servers are designed to deliver business performance computing solutions that optimize power consumption at the chip, systems and software levels, and address clients' growing appetite for more powerful yet energy-efficient computing resources. Product availability and pricing will be announced with the availability of the next-generation AMD Opteron processors, planned for the third quarter of 2006.
The portfolio of the five new IBM systems and blades introduced is based on the next generation of AMD Opteron processors and is targeted to business performance computing -- a new compute model that leverages high performance computing capability to more effectively meet general business needs, such as business intelligence, enterprise resource planning and more. The new systems join IBM's current line of AMD Opteron processor-based systems targeted for high performance computing, first introduced to the market by IBM in April 2003. According to IBM, the new servers can deliver up to 21 percent greater performance within the same power envelope as previous generations.
The following IBM System x and BladeCenter products were introduced on Tuesday:
The new systems have been optimized for business performance computing by leveraging IBM's Enterprise X-Architecture model to bring mainframe capabilities and high-end technology to the company's x86 portfolio. Key innovations in the new systems include:
This week's introduction of the industry's first "snap-in" scalable blade server that allows customers to simply snap in an additional two socket AMD blade to the first in mere seconds -- doubling the processing capacity. Using HyperTransport interconnect technology, IBM clients can double the capability of a two socket blade in a "pay as you grow" model.
A new patent-pending function called IBM Xcelerated Memory Technology is designed to remove bottlenecks and to speed access to memory up to 15 percent faster than any vendor in the market. With Xcelerated Memory Technology IBM clients will now be able to access data faster for business critical, time-sensitive transactions.
IBM anticipates the new AMD Opteron processor-based systems will strengthen IBM's position as the world's leading server vendor with the industry's broadest arsenal of leading-edge x86 servers -- from blades to racks. According to IDC, IBM already leads the blade segment with 40 percent marketshare, and IBM's X3 technology has given the company a 39 percent marketshare in scalable servers.
"IBM continues to deliver systems innovation on top of industry-standard components to improve datacenter operations and business efficiency," said Bill Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "The continued expansion of our x86 product line will help IBM capitalize on its position in the critical x86 segment, in which IBM is already growing its share two to three times as fast as the top vendors."
"Today's announcement marks an exciting milestone in the IBM-AMD relationship, ever focused on delivering innovative solutions in response to customer requirements," said Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO, AMD. "With a solid relationship on both the research and development and product innovation fronts, IBM and AMD are teaming to deliver unparalleled enterprise solutions that leverage open standards."
IBM is focused on delivering a portfolio of technologies to improve power utilization and reduce energy costs by giving CIOs the tools to more accurately plan, monitor, and control power consumption to meet business expectations -- similar to the insight CFOs have to manage corporate cash flow. To address this need, IBM introduced the "Cool Blue" portfolio of power management and cooling technologies.
"With power, cooling and electricity representing between 25 and 40 percent of a datacenter's annual operating costs," according to Jerald Murphy, COO and director of Research Operations for Robert Frances Group, "IT executives are very sensitive to the domino effect of power efficiency in the data center. Companies that are focused on technology portfolios that can dramatically improve power utilization and reduce energy costs will have a significant competitive advantage."
The "Cool Blue" portfolio of IBM innovations includes hardware and systems-management tools for computing environments, enabling clients to better optimize the power consumption, management and cooling of infrastructure at the system, rack and datacenter levels.
"Power efficiency will be the number one issue for most large company IT executives to address in the next several years," said Susan Whitney, general manager of IBM System x and BladeCenter. "IBM has led the technology industry in energy-smart innovation for over forty years, from radical breakthroughs in mainframe cooling efficiency to the development of the world's most powerful computer in Blue Gene that delivers the most performance per kilowatt of power consumed. IBM will continue to drive leadership in power efficiency with its Cool Blue' portfolio of innovation."
Key to the "Cool Blue" portfolio is:
IBM's new software technology, IBM PowerExecutive, available across IBM BladeCenter and System x servers, allows clients to "meter" actual power usage and heat emissions, and cap the amount of power used by a single server or group of servers at any given time. In the future, PowerExecutive will enable clients to develop power policies across groups of servers to dynamically reallocate energy resources.
IBM is previewing IBM Thermal Diagnostics, a thermal analyzer that can pinpoint and automatically take action on heat-related issues in the datacenter. IBM Thermal Diagnostics will provide clients with the capability to monitor heat emissions in the datacenter and determine their root causes -- such as air conditioning failures -- before they flare up. IBM Thermal Diagnostics technology periodically scans datacenter equipment to collect inventory, performance and temperature metrics. Software then builds a virtual model of the equipment and identifies a "most-likely scenario", automatically diagnosing thermal problems and enabling PowerExecutive, IBM Director, and service processors to respond to heat-related problems quickly and effectively.
IBM Director and Virtualization Engine can help provide a reduction in energy usage across systems through server consolidation and systems management virtualization technologies. By pooling, managing and optimizing IT resources across servers, virtualized systems can improve the economics and operations of under-utilized IT assets, effectively decreasing energy needs and usage by up to 40 percent.
IBM BladeCenter customer Iris Wireless -- a global company that offers advanced mobile messaging and data applications that focus on mobile subscribers' daily communication use -- provides connectivity to over 530 wireless carriers and 1.8 billion mobile subscribers around the world.
"Energy costs are one of my top concerns right now," said Peter Rinfret, CEO, Iris Wireless. "The Iris Wireless datacenter reached full power capacity about three months ago and we are still waiting for additional power to be delivered by the utilities. We are now planning to implement IBM PowerExecutive to help us maximize the power utilization of our existing resources and better plan for the growth of our datacenter power needs in the future."