IBM unveils pSeries challenge to Sun/HP

IBM has launched the first models in its eServer pSeries, writes Nick Enticknap.

IBM has launched the first models in its eServer pSeries, writes Nick Enticknap.

The p680 is a successor to the top-of-the-range RS/6000 S80, and features identical processor technology to that used in the AS/400 (now iSeries) 840 announced in May, including the innovative silicon-on-insulator circuitry.

The 64-bit RS64 IV processors run at 600MHz and a system can be configured with between six to 24 of them. The p680 supports 96Gbytes of main memory and a high capacity 16Mbyte level 2 cache with each processor.

This spec has allowed IBM to produce some impressive TPC benchmark results and IBM is using them to out-market Sun and Hewlett-Packard. IBM is claiming new records in Web serving, transaction processing, Java and ERP performance.

Capacity upgrade on demand is a feature of the p680, as it is of the i840, and will be ultimately available across the entire eServer product range.

It allows you to install more processors than you need while paying only for what you need, and then activating and paying for the extra processors as the workload grows.

Bull, which collaborates with IBM in the development of both hardware and software for this product line, has also announced the product under the name Escala EPC2450.

IBM's other new pSeries model is the entry-level p640. This contains between one to four 64-bit 375MHz Power3-II processors packaged in a rack-mountable box.

IBM eServer p680

  • Capacity upgrade on demand (CUoD) - a "pay as you grow" configuration option

  • Dynamic CPU de-allocation - automatically de-allocates failing processors

  • Silicon-on-insulator technology - increases performance of copper-based processors

  • 96Gbytes memory capacity - allows faster performance

  • Blue Hammer - high performance cluster option for up to 16 systems (384 CPUs)

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