eWeek: IBM Will Offer 970 Based Low End Servers

Hereis a bit of news that should make you IT folks sit up and take notice: An article in eWeek says that IBM will soon offer the 970 Processor, the very one Apple is using in its new line of Power Mac G5 computers, in a series of low cost servers. The new IBM servers will run Linux or AIX and will be configured as a ibladei; rack mount server with thin form factors to allow for many to be mounted in a rack. From the article, IBM Servers to Pair Linux, New PowerPC Chips:

According to sources, the Armonk, N.Y., company plans to take on Sun Microsystems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. with Linux servers priced at the "enterprise entry level," which IBM defines as less than $25,000. Although the current share of Linux servers running on Power processors is marginal, IBM reportedly projects nearly a 20-fold increase -- to almost half-a-million units -- by 2006.

In pursuit of this goal, IBM is poised to introduce two tiers of products: a low-end blade server and an "ultra -low-end" (ULE) rack/deskside model. The initial blade server will be based on the Power PC 970 processor (known internally as the GPUL) , which made its debut this month in Apple Computer Inc.is Power Mac G5 line . A mid-2004 replacement for the blade as well as the ULE products will run on an updated version of that chip, known as the GPUL2.


The ULE models, which will run Linux and IBMis AIX OS, will ship in 2U two-way and 4U four-way configurations. A base configuration of the 4U is expected to cost less than $3,500, sources said.


Sources report that IBM internal documents portray Sun and HP as the main targets of the new server effort; these companies offer only Intel-based Linux servers. With the upcoming PowerPC 970- and GPUL2-based ULE products, IBM will stress better performance than Xeon-based servers, 32- and 64-bit compatibility with no migration costs or penalties, and linear price scaling from two-way to four-way systems. Against Itanium and Itanium 2 servers, IBM will promote the ULE as cheaper, less power-hungry, cooler and easier to set up.

You can read the full article at eWeek News.