Big Blue has been especially busy blowing off steam with cooler servers since October as part of a push to conserve energy needs in the computing sector and stand apart from its rivals. On Wednesday, the firm added to its eServer family a new p610 that supposedly sucks up as much as 57 percent less electricity and expends 63 percent less heat than a comparable Sun solution, a 280R. The p610 is a low-end system designed for e-business tasks such as customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and sales force automation. It runs both Unix and Linux.
As for the energy conservation, the new eServer includes RAID 5 storage technology inside the server cabinet rather than in a separate device. This eliminates the need for a second power supply. RAID allows a large number of disks to be treated by a system as a single storage device. More disks means multiple backups for data.
This integration of RAID 5 also lends credence to IBM's argument that a p610 is more cost-efficient for the enterprise than a comparable server from Sun or HP, since organizations that want to use similar products from those rivals must purchase an external storage device. Such a device takes up floor space, and outside storage devices add to noise levels and electrical requirements.
"More than ever, our customers are interested in lowering their total cost of ownership," said Val Rahmani, general manager, IBM eServer pSeries. "IBM's new Unix server combines energy efficiency and enterprise-class management features with ultra-fast performance to provide customers with the ideal synthesis of power and affordability."
IBM, it seems, has reason to feel confident about its server schemes these days. New statistics from Gartner Dataquest show Big Blue's server revenue in the United States increased from $4.7 billion to $4.9 billion in 2001, a 7.8 percent jump. Overall, the firm increased market share from 21.5 percent in 2000 to 29.3 percent in the weakest year for server sales in years. IBM posted 3.1 percent growth in sales for the Unix server market (still a distance second to Sun) and a 1.3 percent growth in Intel servers.
Available in rack or tower versions, the new p610 is priced starting at $5,995. Scheduled rollout is Feb. 22.