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IBM rolls out fast midrange servers

Jul 20, 20042 mins
Data CenterIBMUnix

* IBM’s midrange introductions include one of fastest Unix servers

IBM last week unveiled what the company claims is one of the fastest Unix machines available.

The 16-processor eServer p5-570 system, which runs Linux and AIX 5L v5.2 and v5.3, outperformed an HP server on the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s TPC-C benchmark test. It beat an HP Integrity Superdome by 22,498 transactions per minute. In a price/performance comparison, the p5 also bested HP by $1.54 per transaction. No Sun boxes were benchmarked using the TPC benchmark tests.

IBM’s new p5 servers come in a variety of configurations ranging from dual-processor to 16-processor systems. All p5 systems are based on the Power5 microprocessor and incorporate technologies such as Micro-Partitioning and the IBM Virtualization Engine.

Micro-Partitioning allows individual processors to be divvied up into as many as 10 partitions. Earlier boxes only allowed a single partition per processor.

The Virtualization Engine allows the virtual servers to be managed from a single console and provides services for workload management and provisioning. Micro-Partitioning is part of the Virtualization Engine.

The Power5 processor has 276 million transistors per processor and is manufactured with IBM’s 0.13-micron copper and silicon-on-insulator technologies, to give it what IBM claims is unprecedented performance.

Initially, the p5 systems will consist of three servers designed for small to midsized businesses. The p5-520 is a dual-processor deskside or rack-mount server that runs at 1.65 GHz. The p5-550 has as many as four processors and also runs at 1.65 GHz. The p5-570 has as many as 16 processors and runs at 1.9 GHz. All can run AIX 5L or Linux. The p5-570 Express runs at 1.5 GHz and is a two-to-eight processor system.

The IBM eServer p5-520 starts at $12,920, the IBM eServer p5-550 starts at $22,100, the IBM eServer p5-570 starts at $25,928, and the IBM eServer p5-570 Express starts at $28,659. All servers will be available Aug. 31.