Linuxworld: IBM challenges Sun with Linux server launches

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Linuxworld: IBM challenges Sun with Linux server launches

IBM has sharpened its drive for the Linux market with the release of servers that take direct aim at its main hardware rival, Sun Microsystems.

IBM introduced its x305 and x335 rack-mount servers that run on Intel's Xeon processors and the Linux OS at the Linuxworld show.

Both the lower end, one-processor x305 and the two-processor x335 are part of a program to counter Sun's entry into the Linux market with the unveiling of its first general-purpose Linux server.

Along with the 1U (1.75 inches) high servers, IBM is claiming its suite of migration services will let users save money by moving from Sun's Solaris operating system to Linux running on Big Blue servers.

Rich Michos, vice-president of Linux servers at IBM, said, "We have a Swat team that can handle anything from a total cost of ownership analysis to help with migration and services."

IBM will not offer customers discounts on hardware for switching platforms but will provide a "blueprint" for a move from Solaris to Linux, Michos said.

The lower end x305 with one processor and 256M bytes of memory starts at $1,519 (£996). The higher end x335 with one processor and 512Mbytes of memory starts at $2,219 (£1,396).

The new Sun LX50 with one 1.4GHz Pentium III processor and a number of developer applications starts at $2,795 (£1,833).

IBM also announced that it would ship new Cluster 1350 systems later this year that combine hundreds of its Intel-based servers running Linux into a pre-tested package. The Cluster 1350 systems will support up to 256 x335 servers, according to Michos.

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