RealTime IT News

Big Blue Bows New High-end iSeries Server

While makers of low-end or middling servers have been busy of late, IBM Corp. climbed the ladder Monday with the release of a new 32-way server from its iSeries line, which the Armonk, N.Y. firm claims can provide more than double the processing power of the previous most powerful member of that eServer family -- the i840.

Geared toward improving data center application performance, the i890 runs the latest version of the iSeries operating system, OS/400 V5R2, and is powered by Big Blue's own POWER4 microprocessor. POWER4 chips run at 1.3 gigahertz and hosts some 174 million transistors.

A single i890 can support up to 32 OS/400 and Linux dynamic logical partitions, allowing businesses to consolidate many workloads on to a single server. Partitions let customers boost the performance level of applications running in various partitions without restarting the server.

Accommodating the new hardware release are some new features from the firm's Project eLiza, or "self-healing" technology strategy, including Enterprise Identity Mapping (EIM). EIM tracks a user's multiple security identities across a network, making it easier for programmers to write more secure applications without forcing users to sign on and authenticate to each server in a network. This helps reduce the cost of security administration.

IBM also said its Capacity Upgrade on Demand will now be standard on all iSeries 830 4-way models and above. Should a customer see spikes in demand and feel they need more power, this feature will provide it.

IBM has shipped more than 750,000 eServer iSeries to customers, which include financial outfit ABN Amro and air rifle manufacturer Crosman to track inventory to managing websites and processing transactions.

Shipments of the new i890 will begin on June 14, 2002.

More generally, Gartner Dataquest released new server figures Monday. The research firm said tough market conditions experienced by the server industry continued into the first quarter of 2002 worldwide server shipments totaled 1.09 million.

Big Blue was third behind Compaq Cmputer Corp. and Dell Computer Corp. in worldwide shipments, with 14.3 percent of the market share. IBM also placed third behind Dell and Compaq, respectively in U.S. server market share, with 13.3 percent.