IBM launches top-end Power5 servers

IBM has expanded the top end of its eServer range with three multiple-processor systems aimed at datacentres and large enterprise...

IBM has expanded the top end of its eServer range with three multiple-processor systems aimed at datacentres and large enterprise clients.

The p5-595 and i5-595 systems can incorporate up to 64 Power5 processors and the p5-590 up to 32, according to IBM, enabling users to run up to 250 virtual servers off each machine.

The p5-595 can use either 1.65GHz or 1.90GHz Power5 processors while the p5-590 only uses the slower processor. The new systems support versions 5.2 and 5.3 of IBM's AIX variant of Unix as well as Linux.

IBM said the new systems represent a significant power to cost improvement over current IBM servers. The p5-595 is nearly three times as fast as the current top-end server, the IBM eServer pSeries 690, the company said. The p5-590 is 45% faster and costs 40% less than its immediate predecessor, IBM said.

According to IBM, benchmarks show that the Power5-based systems can outperform high-end servers from Sun Microsystems which run the proprietary UltraSPARC IV processor and from Hewlett-Packard (HP) which use either proprietary PA-Risc or Intel Itanium processors.

IBM currently trails HP and Sun in the worldwide server market, according to figures from research companies.

IBM did not any more detailed specifications of the systems, price or availability.

David Legard writes for IDG News Service

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