IBM has also built in a network of both hardware and software sensors into the p690 servers to help them detect problems in things such as the memory cache or processors and automatically shut down the problem area before it affects the whole server.
"If there is a likely failure, it automatically takes that component offline and keeps the rest of the machine running," Adkins said.
IBM has been planning the p690 system for several years, and analysts appear optimistic that the company has made a strong move to bolster a lagging Unix line.
"(The p690) brings in partitioning capabilities which they did not have and which HP and Sun were already bringing to their mid-range systems," said Gordon Haff, research director of high-end architectures at Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston. "It gives IBM a competitive product that they very much need."
One user agreed with analysts that the new system appears impressive but said he still needs to put the p690 through some tests before running any of his company's core applications on the server.
"Before we bet the farm on expanding our Regatta environment, we need to make sure we can see what is actually going on with applications running on the system," said Joe Giacometti, senior vice president of information technology at food services provider Royal Ahold.
The company will purchase an 8-way p690 and plans to roll out its first application on the server by the first quarter of next year, Giacometti said.
IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-499-1900 or http://www.ibm.com.