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IBM Intel servers ‘80 per cent cheaper than Dell’

It's a self-healing TCO kinda thing

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IBM claims it can reduce the cost of running an Intel-based server by 80 per cent compared to those of its competitors.

The server monitoring and management technology, which was developed as part of IBM's Project eLiza initiative, is designed to decrease systems outages and increase server availability, so reducing running costs. It comes as part of IBM's Director 3.1 system management software which ships with IBM eServer xSeries servers, and also features added Linux support.

Online monitoring of server resources and environmental conditions, like temperature and voltage, with automatic reporting has been added to the diagnostic suite. Another automated eLiza feature of IBM Director is the ability to predict server bottlenecks such as excessive processor or memory consumption that can lead to poor performance or unplanned downtime.

An IBM spokesman explained that the suite can diagnose common problems, such as software hangs, and allows looming problems to be addressed before they lead to failures.

Using its own server availability measurement tool (which deploys methodology devised by Gartner), IBM has come up with figures to back up its argument that the technology can slash IT costs.

The measurement tool estimates that over five years, IBM self-healing technology could save a medium-sized business running generic applications on an IBM eServer x220 as much as $53,110 in operating costs over a similarly configured Dell 1400SC server. This represents a saving of 80 per cent, according to IBM.

Last April, IBM announced that it would devote a quarter of its server budget to Project eLiza, which has two components: fault tolerance and 'self-management'. The idea of the initiative was to move high availability features found in high-end systems down the server food chain.

Genuine fault tolerance goes beyond what IBM is doing with software and involves the duplication of parts that might fail, a small but lucrative niche in the market that has been left to vendors like Stratus. ®

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