IBM’s Hurricane to blow in NZ

IBM’s Hurricane to blow in NZ

IBM says its new X3 Intel server architecture and Hurricane chip set are particularly relevant to New Zealand customers and channel.

Speaking after last week’s worldwide product announcement, IBM’s Catherine Blinkhorn told Reseller News, “Many of our customers in this country already run critical applications like ERP on Intel.”

She says New Zealand has traditionally been ahead of other countries when it comes to using Intel in the data centre.

Blinkhorn, who manages IBM NZ’s systems and technology group, says X3 is particularly appropriate for companies looking at consolidating and optimising their existing IT systems.

She says the technology allows users to significantly reduce overheads. “In New Zealand there’s always been a big jump between two-way and four-way processor price points. That gap no longer exists.”

IBM believes the new eServers are set to be a hot product in the channel.

“We grew channel participation in our server business by about 20% last year. We expect this to increase again this year. Many of our partners are integrators and they’re looking to these products to reduce customer risk,” Blinkhorn says.

“Companies deploying new ERP or business intelligence systems are worried about having to go back to their board and ask for more money for additional capacity. Because the X3 architecture is scalable in a building-block way, they can now simply pay as they go.”

When it arrives in late March - a date timed to coincide with new 64-bit operating systems from Microsoft, Red Hat and Novell - the eServer xSeries 366 will be the first of a line of products based on single or dual core Intel Xeon processors, the X3 architecture and IBM’s new chip set.

Initially IBM will offer a four-way server, but the technology can be scaled up to 32 ways.

Blinkhorn says there’s already considerable local customer interest from banking, telecommunications and manufacturing.

On paper, the new chip set and architecture appear to be an important technical breakthrough that could propel IBM past competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell.

In simple terms, the new designs allow powerful systems to be built using fewer components; this should mean lower prices and more efficient processing. IBM also claims to have solved the technical problems associated with squeezing higher performance from memory chips.

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