IBM Debuts New Half Rack and BladeCenter E Chassis
March 15, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you are one of the avant garde of the i customer base that is using a mix of BladeCenter Power-based blade servers to run i 6.1 applications, or if you have some rack-based Power Systems machines mixed with System x boxes, then IBM has a new half rack for you.
The new S2 25U half rack, which is detailed in announcement letter 110-064, takes standard 19-inch server, storage, and networking gear, and comes on casters so you can move it around. The rack has a solid top with access holes for passthrough cables, lockable doors and side panels that all use the same key, and a split rear door. IBM says that the S2 half rack is more rugged than prior racks, allowing it to be rolled around even when fully loaded. The product, known by the number 9307-2PX, will be available on March 18 and costs $1,485. The prior Power Systems rack, the S25 and known by the name of 7014-S25, costs $1,999.
Beginning on April 8, IBM will also ship a new BladeCenter E chassis, which as you see in announcement letter 110-044, is a tweaked version of the energy-efficient blade box from Big Blue. The new BladeCenter E chassis, which is a 7U unit (compared to 9U for the standard BladeCenter H chassis) comes in a model with dual 2,000 watt or 2,320 watt power supplies for its 14 blades. The new base model has an optional optical disk, two hot-swap blowers, one management module for the blades with a built-in KVM switch. The chassis supports blades based on IBM’s Power6, PowerPC, Xeon, and Opteron processors, and presumably will also support Power7 blades when they pop into existence later this year. Pricing was not announced for the new chassis. Prior models cost between $3,639 and $3,999.