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IBM boosts pSeries power

Oct 23, 20032 mins

* IBM improves its pSeries line of servers

IBM last week refreshed its eServer pSeries server line with versions the company says are faster and give customers a more powerful entry-level server.

The p615 uses one or two POWER4+ processors operating at 1.45 GHz. It runs either AIX or Linux and offers RAID capability.

By using a new Ultra320 SCSI interface, IBM has doubled the I/O data transfer rate of the server to 320M bit/sec resulting in improved performance for data-intensive applications. Ultra320 SCSI disks, adapters, backplanes and storage subsystems transfer data twice as fast as Ultra3 SCSI.

The p615 comes in either a deskside tower configuration or in a rackmount configuration. Disk space can be expanded to as much as 1.1 terabytes with eight hot-swappable disk bays. The server is outfitted with 10/100/1000M bit/sec and 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet adapters.

The company also announced the pSeries High Performance Switch (HPS), which provides interconnections for clusters of up to 16 p655 and p690 servers. By the middle of next year, IBM says the HPS will support as many as 64 servers. The switch would be most often used as a cluster interconnect in computationally intensive and memory-bandwidth-intensive applications, such as those in weather modeling, quantum physics or computational chemistry.

In addition, IBM said the 16-way p670 and 32-way p690 have a new Capacity BackUp (CBU) capability. CBU lets systems administrators protect their servers from disasters and data loss, and plan for incremental capacity increases when capacity elsewhere in the enterprise is lost. It provides a way for servers to fail over to other servers in the even of problems.

The company also upgraded its Cluster Systems Management software for pSeries servers running AIX 5L or Linux, as well as extending it to Linux on xSeries servers. Using Cluster Systems Management, systems administrators can install, configure and maintain server clusters. The software provides resource-monitoring tools for the cluster and triggers that alert administrators when problems occur.

An entry-level p615 with one processor, 1G byte of memory and a 36G-byte disk drive starts at $5,745. The products are available this week.