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IBM refreshes Unix server

Mar 02, 20042 mins

* IBM updates the high end of its Unix server line

IBM last week upgraded its high-end Unix server, giving it access to twice the memory and increasing its performance by 20%.

Jamie Gruener, senior analyst for the Yankee Group, says performance has given way to cost as a top concern among enterprise server buyers. An eight-way p690 with 16G bytes of memory and two 236G-byte disk drives starts at $641,800.

“In the market segment these servers are focused on, performance remains an issue,” Gruener says. “What’s probably a bigger deal is the ongoing pricing battle that will continue to shake out between IBM, Sun and HP.”

IBM says the p690 recently completed the TPC-C benchmark, in which a 32-processor p690 beat an HP Itanium 2-based Integrity Superdome server with 64 processors. The IBM server processed more than 1 million transactions per second at a cost of $5.43/tpmC. The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) is an organization of systems vendors who have agreed on benchmarks that can be run against their systems.

IBM also announced that the p690 will run SuSE and Red Hat Linux.

“Running Linux on a broad range of hardware platforms allows the application to be agnostic, which could end up providing significant benefits to customers,” Gruener says. “The challenge remains porting the application to each platform, something IBM and other vendors will need to do more often.”

The new p690 is expected to ship March 5. For more details see: