IBM rolls out midrange eServer i5

IBM rolls out midrange eServer i5

IBM filled the centre of its Power 5-based eServer i5 lineup on Tuesday, unwrapping a four-way system aimed at midsize companies looking to consolidate a variety of business applications.

The new eServer i5 550, sandwiched between the Models 520 and 570, will be available in two editions that are new to the i5 500 series, including the Solution Edition and the lower-end Domino Edition. The Solution Edition will be sold jointly through IBM and selected ISVs to various vertical markets.

"The idea behind this one (Solution Edition) is to be able to go to our joint customers with the ISVs and offer them an up-to-date solution. Many users may have bought a package a number of years ago and naturally the ISV has made many improvements. This will give them a chance to take advantage of newer software along with the new hardware," said Craig Johnson, the marketing manager for IBM's iSeries line.

The selected ISVs IBM will be jointly selling the new edition to include Clear Technologies, IBS, Integrated Distribution Solutions, Intentia International, Lawson Software, Manhattan Associates, MAPICS, PeopleSoft, and SSA Global Technologies.

Both the Solution and Domino editions, like the existing Standard and Enterprise editions, run under IBM's proprietary I5OS operating system. They both also come with Big Blue's Virtualization Engine services that allow users to run AIX and Linux operating systems in partitions as well as to attach and/or manage Intel-based servers.

Some users appeared to be enthusiastic about the new offerings.

"We think this does a good job at offering more of a total solution, where we can deliver real business value to our users that helps them achieve their business goals," said Muditha Karunatileka, executive vice president of sales for Sirius Computer Solutions.

The Model 550 is fueled by a 1.65GHz Power5 processor, can support as much as 64GB of memory, and as much as 38TB of disk storage. The system is shipped with two processors turned on with users able to turn on the other two processors as their workload requires.

Also on Tuesday, IBM is announcing it would support Linux on its Intel-based Integrated xSeries Server series.

"That (Integrated xSeries Server) series has supported Windows for some time, but we needed to put Linux on them as well. We think it will complement Linux running on our Power processors and partitions, so now we'll have both environments to offer corporate users," Johnson said.

Lastly, IBM is unveiling a new component of its Virtualization Engine, called the IBM Director Multi Platform. An enhanced version of the company's Director product, now available on its Intel-based xSeries, the Director Multi Platform has been enhanced to manage both Intel- and I5OS-based environments.

"This lets you have just one tool to go out and collect inventories of your servers, establish monitors for them, and set off alerts to take automated actions," Johnson said.

Users who buy the new system with IBM's I5OS bundled receive a free copy of Director Multi Platform, Johnson said.

The Model 550 will be available starting Sept. 10 with the Standard Edition going for US$74,000.

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