IBM Turbo-charges server
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Oct 16, 2000
IBM Corp. on Oct. 16 unveiled its most powerful server ever in the multibillion-dollar
high-end Unix market in an attempt to overtake market leader Sun Microsystems
The IBM eServer pSeries 680, code-named "Turbo," features fewer chips
for transaction processing than its counterparts from Sun and Hewlett-Packard
Co., said Scott Firth, IBM's director of eServer products. Its base configuration
costs about $420,000, but could ramp up into the millions, depending on
"Any agency with a large database and a large number of people who want
to access it" could benefit, Firth said. "We haven't pinpointed any specific
agencies, but it's for any group looking to improve their infrastructure
for e-commerce and e-business and to get information out more rapidly to
citizens or employees of government."
The Turbo features include:
* 24 silicon-on-insulator microprocessors.
* IBM mainframe-inspired capabilities, including capacity-on-demand,
where customers can activate additional processors at their discretion and
are only billed at that time.
* CPU allocation, which automatically reallocates resources if impending
CPU failures are detected.
* Memory up to 96G.
IBM is also staking its claim that the Turbo server is superior in price
and performance to anything that Sun and HP will release in the near future.
The Turbo servers will begin shipping in volume Nov. 17, Firth said.
Sun's next generation of mid- to high-end servers, based on its UltraSPARC
III microprocessor technology, will begin shipping in the first quarter
of 2001, and pricing will be available then, said John Leahy, chief of staff
at Sun Federal.
Leahy said IBM's announcement should not affect Sun's lead in the Unix
server market. "If a product is years ahead of the competition, that might
be a [reason] for consideration, but that's not what we're talking about
here," he said.
The HP 9000 Superdome server will ship "by the end of the year," and
pricing will start at $400,000, according to a source at HP.