IBM will add a second Itanium 2 server to its xSeries product line, which is claimed to be the first Itanium server to scale from four to 16 processors.
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The eServer xSeries 455 will be built using the same Enterprise X-Architecture (EXA) chipset that IBM uses in both its x440 and x445 Xeon servers, as well as its other Itanium system, the x450.
The EXA chipset allows users to connect as many as four four-processor blocks together in the x455, allowing the system to scale from four to 16 processors.
With 28 2Gbyte DIMM (Dual In-Line Memory Module) memory slots per block, the x455 can support as much as 224Gbytes of memory.
The system will ship with Intel's Itanium 2 Madison processors, which come in 1.3GHz to 1.5GHz configurations.
The scalability of the x455 will make it particularly appealing to database administrators, who will be able to expand the systems as their workloads increase, said Jay Bretzmann, IBM's manager of eServer products. "The most painful thing you can do is buy too small a database server," he said.
IBM's next Itanium system, a 32-way xSeries server, will be announced in the first quarter of 2004.
IBM will also announce a remote management option for its x445 servers. Called the Remote Supervisor Adapter II, the upgrade will let administrators remotely manage the servers using a web browser.
The eServer x455 will ship on 9 December, with pricing starting at $21,999 (£13,193). The Remote Supervisor Adapter II upgrade for the x445 will be available on 5 December and prices will start from $995 (£598).
Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service