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IBM launches 64-bit blades

Dec 02, 20032 mins

* IBM BladeCenter JS20 uses PowerPC 970 processors

IBM recently introduced its first blade server to be based on a 64-bit RISC processor.

The BladeCenter JS20 uses either one or two IBM PowerPC 970 processors running at 1.6 GHz. It has 512K bytes of L2 cache and an 800-MHz front-side bus. The blade has from 512M bytes to 4G bytes of memory.

Fourteen blades fit into a 7U-high chassis, where they can be intermixed with IBM’s Intel-based HS20 blades. Each blade is hot-swappable, allowing it to be added or removed from the chassis without disrupting the operation of other blades.

The chassis can include an optional four-port Layer 2-7 Gigabit Ethernet switch and a 2G bit/sec Fibre Channel switch for attaching a storage-area network (SAN). It includes a floppy disk drive and a CD-ROM drive that can be accessed by all blades. As many as four power supplies can be added to the chassis, which balances workloads and provides failover capability. An optional keyboard-video-mouse switch module is also available.

As many as 82 blades can be installed in a standard 42U rack.

The BladeCenter JS20 ships with no internal storage, but has an integrated ATA-100 EIDE controller. Users can configure a maximum of 80G bytes of internal storage and an optional dual-ported 2G bit/sec Fibre Channel host bus adapter for attachment to a SAN.

It comes configured with dual Broadcom NetXtreme 10/100/1000M bit/sec Gigabit Ethernet adapters. In addition, an optional dual-ported Gigabit Ethernet adapter can be added for connection to multiple LAN segments.

Initially the JS20 will support SuSE Linux and Turbolinux; IBM will support Red Hat Linux and AIX in the future. It can be managed with IBM’s Director software.

IDC predicts that one quarter of all servers by 2007 will be blades.