IBM is boosting its iSeries range (formerly the AS/400) with a 32-way system based on its highest-end Power4 chip.
The company said the new eServer i890 nearly doubles the processing power of its previous top-of-the-line 24-way system and is capable of supporting up to 32 OS/400 and Linux dynamic logical partitions.
IBM also announced plans to support its AIX Unix on iSeries partitions.
Such enhancements build substantially on the server consolidation capabilities already available on iSeries systems, said Ian Jarman, an IBM product manager.
"Already, 44% of the [high-end] iSeries servers we ship have logical partitions, which is indicative of the workload consolidation that is going on," Jarman said.
Andin International, a New York jewellery manufacturer, planned to buy one of the new servers to power its Jewelry.com Web site.
The server's scalability and ability to be partitioned were crucial factors in the company's purchasing decision, said Kristian Chronister, a vice-president at Andin.
"One of the fundamental benefits of the iSeries is that it allows me to run a large, high-traffic Web site off one machine," Chronister said.
"I don't have to create a complex server farm with switches and routers and load balancers With this, I can put everything in one box."