April 25, 2012, 3:21 PM —
IBM announced new "affordable" Linux servers on Wednesday as the company tries to push its new category of preconfigured servers for virtualization and big data to midmarket and enterprise customers.
The PowerLinux systems contain integrated hardware, software, networking and storage, and are configured to cater to specific requirements. The servers, which combine IBM's Power7 processors with the Linux OS, are priced as low as US$20,000 and go beyond $100,000, depending on client configuration choices.
One of the new systems is the two-socket IBM FlexSystem p24L server, which is a part of the recently introduced PureSystem integrated servers that are quicker to deploy than custom-built servers. The new servers are for the midmarket and large enterprises and are competitive on price and performance compared to industry-standard x86 servers, IBM officials said.
The company picked specific Linux workloads that play well with Power processors, such as Apache Hadoop, and the servers are able to execute those workloads faster than industry-standard x86 processors, said Scott Handy, vice president of PowerLinux strategy and business development.
The Power processors can run four threads per core, compared to two per core for the standard x86 processors from Intel. The highly threaded application performance especially applies to resource-intensive applications such as analytics or databases, Handy said.
The servers also provide a scalable virtualized environment with IBM's PowerVM virtualization software, and customers don't have to incur software licensing costs related to multiple copies of x86 virtualization products, Handy said.