IBM's new expert integrated systems line gets Linux update

Big Blue rolls out new PowerLinux offerings

IBM's PowerLinux product line got a substantial upgrade on Wednesday, as the company announced three new integrated offerings and two Linux-specific servers.

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The new big data analytics solution, according to Big Blue, leverages heavily optimized hardware and Apache Hadoop to provide high performance. The company also rolled out a product designed for SAP application delivery, which is advertised as providing faster time-to-delivery and lower cost per workload than commodity hardware. An infrastructure services solution, aimed at controlling server sprawl in both the physical and virtual realms, was also introduced.

Prices range from nearly $35,000 for the stand-alone big data product up to $40,000 for a two-part data-node/management-node setup. The SAP delivery system is available for less than $22,000, though doubling of available RAM to 128GB and storage to around 2.4TB pushes the price above $26,000, and the infrastructure service module costs almost $21,000 with 3.55GHz of processing power and less than $20,000 with 3.3GHz.

These integrated packages, IBM said, are based on two dedicated Linux server models - the p24L Compute Node is designed to work with the company's new Flex System form factor, and the 7R2 System is set up as a standard 2U rack configuration. Both are powered by two sockets' worth of POWER7 microprocessors, and users have the choice of running either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

IBM Power Systems general manager Colin Parris said in a statement that the company is providing an alternative to IT decision-makers who don't feel like they have enough options for the use of open-source business tools.

"As CIOs seek to transform their IT department from a cost center to a strategic asset, many have a misconception that deploying Linux on x86 servers equipped with VMware software is their only option for taking advantage of open source applications," he said.

IBM is one of several traditional IT powerhouses that have stepped up their open-source efforts in recent months - Microsoft recently introduced a dedicated subsidiary for that purpose - but Big Blue's role in the community dates back a lot farther than most, having introduced official Linux support in 1999.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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