IBM unveils servers for Linux consolidation

IBM unveils servers for Linux consolidation

IBM offers three new server configurations to help customers consolidate Web-tier Linux servers

IBM on Wednesday unveiled three server offerings aimed at helping companies of all sizes consolidate Web-tier Linux servers in their IT environments.

In a press conference at the Linuxworld OpenSolutions Summit in New York, Scott Handy, vice president of worldwide Linux strategy for IBM, said the new offerings will help customers consolidate the more than 1.6 million Linux servers that are present in both heterogeneous and open-source IT environments. The new servers are for small and midsize businesses as well as the enterprise market.

The highest end of the three new offerings, the IBM System p5 560Q, includes advanced virtualization features, such as IBM's Advanced Power Virtualization, which runs multiple partitions per processor. This allows a customer to consolidate 320 x86-based Linux Web servers on to just one rack of five of the new servers, Handy said.

For small and midsize businesses, IBM is offering Linux server consolidation offerings on its blade servers, Handy said.

For medium-size companies, the company unveiled the BladeCenter JS21 for Web Serving Farms. JS21 is a BladeCenter chassis with 14 JS21 blades, and also includes IBM's Advanced Power Virtualization. Customers can consolidate 168 Linux x86 servers onto just one BladeCenter Chassis with 14 blades, according to IBM.

Small businesses also can consolidate 12 x86 Linux servers on IBM Bladecenter, using one or two JS21 blades and Advanced Power Virtualization, according to IBM. Another option for small businesses is to consolidate the same amount of Linux servers onto a quad-core System p5 505Q Express server, the company said.

In addition to the new consolidation offerings, which Handy said customers requested, IBM also expanded a deal with Novell Inc. to offer an open-source software stack that includes Suse Linux to its Power and BladeCenter servers.

The Integrated Stack for Suse Linux Enterprise combines Novell's Linux OS with a license-free version of IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition with Web-tier clustering support and IBM DB2 Express-C, a community version of IBM's database server. It also includes software from Centeris, the Likewise Management Suite, which enables system administrators to manage Linux servers from within an existing Windows server environment, IBM said. The offering previously had only been available for IBM's x line of servers.

Handy said IBM has shipped more than 1,000 servers with the Integrated Stack for Suse Linux Enterprise since it became generally available in the third quarter of 2006. The software suite was announced at Linuxworld Boston last April, he added.

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