Big Blue added to its rapidly growing eServer line with the introduction of the eServer zSeries 800, a lower-priced, entry-class mainframe that it believes will fundamentally change the economics of mainframe computing, and perhaps woo a few Sun customers its way in the process.
The z800 uses IBM''s z/VM virtualization technology and can consolidate from 20 to hundreds of Sun or Intel servers on a single physical box. It is also the first server to offer IBM''s Parallel Sysplex clustering technology to entry-class mainframe customers.
IBM is positioning the z800 as ideal for its business partners seeking server consolidation options for smaller companies. The new system is designed to help eliminate under-utilized and expensive server farms by moving them onto a single mainframe, and in the process simplifying systems management and reducing costs.
Because IBM has found that mainframe customers are adding Web-based applications to their IT infrastructure to save on energy, floor space, and management expenses, the vendor also introduced z/OS.e, a specially priced offering of the zSeries 64-bit operating system developed specifically for z800 workloads, including Websphere, DB2, Java JDK, and MQSeries.
Like other members of the eServer family, the z800 has self-healing and self-managing capabilities that include capacity backup, Parallel Sysplex clustering, concurrent I/O, and automatic call to IBM if the system detects an error.
IBM also unveiled a packaged z800 and storage solution designed to create a flexible, integrated infrastructure capable of handling diverse data processing and management requirements. The offering includes the option to integrate the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (code named "Shark") disk storage system or the IBM TotalStorage Virtual Tape Server with the z800.
The z800 will be available starting March 29.
IBM''s other big announcement is its partnership with VMware to deliver tools for its Intel server line. Using these tools, an organization can run more than 20 virtual servers on a single IBM eServer. According to Big Blue, these tools will dramatically lower costs and consolidate workloads.
Virtualization has long been available on IBM mainframes, and it was only recently introduced on IBM''s Unix servers. With this announcement, virtualization is available across the board.
VMware has some prior experience "virtualizing" the Intel architecture. The company claims more than 750,000 registered users and 5,000 corporate customers, including Merrill Lynch, PricewaterhouseCoopers, CitiBank, Toyota, Circuit City, Dresdner Bank, Halliburton, and SAP, are using VMware to consolidate their hardware.
In addition, IBM plans to work with VMware to exploit eServer technology on its next generation of Intel-based servers.
Under the terms of the agreement, products developed by IBM and VMware will provide xSeries systems with dynamic logical partitioning functionality. IBM will initially offer virtualization capabilities for its xSeries 360, its first Intel-based servers to feature the IA-32 Intel Xeon Processor MP and incorporating IBM''s Enterprise X-Architecture technology.
The x360 also marks the debut of IBM''s XA-32 core chipset, which features the company''s most advanced Copper Chip breakthroughs and mainframe-inspired technologies to offer enterprises 40 percent more processors per rack while taking up a third less floor space. The x360 is configured to provide 4-way computing power in a 3U rack-optimized design.