IBM Announces New HMCs for System p and System i Servers
May 29, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As part of the launch of the System p 570 Power6-based server last week, IBM also announced three new Hardware Management Consoles, or HMCs.
These devices have been necessary since the advent of the Power5 processor three years ago to control the logical partitioning and capacity on demand (for processor cores and main memory) inside System i and System p servers; mainframes have had HMCs even longer, by the way. System p 575, 590, and 595 boxes, whether they are running AIX or Linux, require an HMC, and the i5 595 box requires an HMC as well. AIX and Linux customers using IBM’s Cluster Service Manager (CSM) parallel computing software need to have HMCs also. Smaller Power-based machines can manage partitions without an HMC, but IBM strongly suggests they have one just the same. One HMC can manage the partitions and capacity on demand (CoD) features of many Power-based servers at the same time, and they can be clustered for high availability so the failure of an HMC does not affect the reconfigurability of one or more servers that the HMC controls.
The 7310-C06 HMC is an upgrade to the existing deskside HMC model, which was just announced in February. The 7310-C06 model is designed to support Power5 and Power5+ systems. The box is essentially a tower server with an Intel Xeon 3050 dual-core processor, 1 GB of its own main memory, an 80 GB disk, and a DVD drive. The one thing IBM did not supply in its announcement of the 7310-C06 is a price; the prior 7310-C05 deskside HMC cost $1,800.
Another new HMC announced last week is the 7042-C06 model, which is a 1U rack-mounted device that also sports a new Web-based graphical user interface for the HMC software. The 7042 also supports Power6-based machines as well as Power5 and Power5+ servers. In other words, this is the one you need at the moment if you are buying a System p 570 with Power6 processors. The 7042-C06 is basically a System x server with a single CPU socket with a dual-core Xeon 3050 processor; it comes with the same 1 GB of main memory and 80 GB disk capacity as the deskside HMC also announced last week. The remaining new HMC is the 7042-CR4, which is a two-socket server that comes with a single Xeon 5130 dual-core processor, 1 GB of main memory, 80 GB of disk, a DVD drive, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. These latter two HMCs run Version 7 of the licensed machine code for HMCs, and IBM did not provide prices for these boxes, either.
All three new HMCs will be available on June 8.