IBM revved its Linux engines on Monday with the release of new servers that take direct aim at its main hardware rival Sun Microsystems.
IBM introduced its x305 and x335 rack-mount servers that run on Intel's Xeon processors and the Linux OS. Both the lower-end, one-processor x305 and the two-processor x335 are part of a program to counter Sun's entry into the Linux market with the unveiling of its first general-purpose Linux server.
Along with the 1U (1.75 inches) high servers, IBM is touting its suite of migration services to move users from Sun's Solaris operating system to Linux running on Big Blue servers as a cost-saving measure, said Rich Michos, vice president of Linux servers at IBM.
"We have a Swat team that can handle anything from a total cost of ownership analysis to help with migration and services," Michos said.
The Swat team from IBM will not offer customers discounts on hardware for switching platforms but will provide a "blueprint" for a move from Solaris to Linux, Michos said.
The lower-end x305 with one processor and 256MB of memory starts at $US1,519. The higher-end x335 with one processor and 512MB of memory starts at $2,219.
The new Sun LX50 with one 1.4GHz Pentium III processor and a number of developer applications starts at $2,795.
IBM also announced that it will ship new Cluster 1350 systems later this year that combine hundreds of its Intel-based servers running Linux into a pre-tested package. The Cluster 1350 systems will support up to 256x335 servers, Michos said.