Newsletters   Subscriptions  Forums  Store   Career  Media Kit  About Us  Contact  Search   Home 
tug
Volume 1, Number 36 -- October 7, 2004

IBM Drops eServer Power5 Clock Speed, Prices to Chase Sun


by Timothy Prickett Morgan


IBM announced that it will move its slower 1.5 GHz Power5 processors into its eServer p5 520 and 550 servers in an attempt to make the "Squadron" servers more appealing to customers using rival Sun Microsystems's Sparc/Solaris boxes and even its new Opteron/Solaris Sun Fire V20z and V40z machines. The new machines are so-called "Express" models, which, in the new IBM lingo, means they are aimed at small and midsized businesses.

This "Express" moniker is not to be confused with the Express name that the pSeries server division used last year to denote a preconfigured pSeries machine that could run either AIX, IBM's Unix variant, or Linux, the open source Unix-alike contender to the thrown of Unix. Now, says Karl Freund, vice president of product marketing at IBM's pSeries unit, such discounted boxes are called "ValuePaks" and Express means low-end and midrange products, typically with ease-of-use features and lower sticker prices than the regular variants of such designated hardware and software.

The p5 520 Express is a two way server and the p5 550 is a four-way server, just like the regular p5 520s and 550s that were announced in mid July. And they are clearly aimed right at the Sun Fire Opteron boxes and similarly powered 64-bit Itanium iron in terms of performance and bang for the buck, but Opteron machines will still win the lower sticker price battle. The base p5 520 Express machine has a single 1.5GHz core activated (the Power5 chip is a dual core chip), 512 MB of main memory, a 36 GB Ultra320 SCSI disk (with room for three more), a dual-port SCSI controller, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. This base machine costs $3,993. An AIX license costs $395 per core, and Linux costs whatever Red Hat or Novell Inc charge (although you can buy it through IBM and save quite a bit of dough). A base p5 520 (not an Express machine) costs $12,190 with 1 GB of main memory, no disks, and a single 1.65 GHz core activated. This is obviously a big drop in price for the raw processor. Freund says that IBM's yields are much higher on the 1.5 GHz parts, so the company is able to charge a lot less for them. This begs the question as to why IBM didn't announce the Express machines from the getgo, but these slower cores were being used in the eServer i5 variant of the Squadron boxes, which are designed mainly to support OS/400 but which also support AIX and Linux inside logical partitions.


The base p5 550 Express box comes with a single processor card with one 1.5 GHz core activated; customers can add another processor card and push it to four 1.5 GHz cores acting in concert through the magic (okay, engineering) of symmetric multiprocessing. This base machine has the same memory and disk features, and it costs $7,050. A regular p5 550 comes with two 1.65 GHz cores activated, 2 GB of main memory, and no disk, and it costs $22,100.

Both of these machines only come with basic, single-core dynamic logical partitioning, but customers who want the micropartitioning capabilities that were announced with the Virtualization Engine hypervisor have to pay extra for this, as do other AIX customers and Linux shops buying the Linux-only OpenPower variants of the same basic Squadron iron.

The p5 520 Express is available immediately, while the availability of the p5 550 Express was uncertain as we went to press. The ValuePak variants of these p5 Express configurations will be available on October 29. Exactly what will be in these heavier configurations is unknown, but it will probably feature a lot more stuff with a modest discount.

Sponsored By
ARKEIA

ENTERPRISE BACKUP SOLUTIONS

Arkeia is a leading provider of backup solutions, noted for its early and comprehensive support of the Linux operating system. Arkeia provides fast, reliable and easy-to-use backup solutions, scalable from a single server to complex heterogeneous environments.

Arkeia Network Backup - An award-winning network backup solution providing the functionality and scalability for both SMBs and large enterprises.

Arkeia Server Backup - A powerful single-server backup solution developed for business environments with stand-alone Linux servers.

Options include bare metal Disaster Recovery, NDMP support for NAS backup and hot backup plug-ins for Oracle, DB2, Lotus, MySQL, LDAP and MS-Exchange. More than 4000 customers worldwide rely on Arkeia for their data protection needs.

www.arkeia.com


Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Managing Editor: Shannon Pastore
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
Shannon O'Donnell, Victor Rozek, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.


THIS ISSUE
SPONSORED BY:

Hewlett-Packard
Arkeia
Sun Microsystems
Stalker Software
Geekcorps


BACK ISSUES

TABLE OF
CONTENTS
Rotten to the Core: Chips, Lies, and Software Licenses

IBM Drops eServer Power5 Clock Speed, Prices to Chase Sun

Dataram Sells Clone eServer p5, i5 Main Memory

New TPC Benchmarks Are on the Horizon

But Wait, There's More


The Four Hundred
Big Blue Should Do Power Windows, Too

PeopleSoft Fires Conway, Brings Back Founder

Azul's Network-Attached Processing to Shake Up Server Market

The Linux Beacon
Red Hat Betas Enterprise Linux 4

IBM Blue Gene/L Tops Supercomputer Performance Charts

Companies Want Good Enough IT, Not 'Best of Breed'

The Windows Observer
Microsoft 'Embedding' Itself into the Retail Supply Chain

SQL Server Gets Business Intelligence Enhancements

Mainframe Migration Alliance Gains New Members, Web Site


Copyright © 1996-2008 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc. (formerly Midrange Server), 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034
Privacy Statement