Feeds

IBM brings PPC 970 – aka G5 – to blades

Linux first

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Fresh off the success of the now famous Big Mac cluster, IBM has planned a new line of blade servers based on its PowerPC 970 processor.

According to this document, IBM plans to roll out the BladeCenter JS20, which will be comprised of dual processor PowerPC systems. The processors will run at 1.6GHz with an 800MHz front side bus. They will fit into the existing BladeCenter chassis used to house Xeon-based blades.

Consumers will be familiar with the PowerPC 970 in its role as the heart of Apple's new G5 computers. A researcher recently linked more than 1,000 of the G5 systems together to gain the third spot on the top500 list of supercomputers. This feat garnered plenty of press for both Apple and IBM.

IBM has long talked about taking its 64bit processors to blade servers, but some expected the chip to be its standard Power4 processor used in Unix servers. The PowerPC 970 is a derivative of the Power4 but may well have a bit better price/performance.

Intel has its own 64bit chip that can play in the blade market - it's called Deerfield or the low voltage Itanium 2. Sun sells blades based on derivatives of its Sparc processor and will eventually roll out Athlon-based and Xeon-based blades.

"For this class of system, the 970 would seem to be a better fit for IBM," said Gordon Haff, an analyst at Illuminata. "It's more price/performance oriented than the Power4 or its follow on - the Power 5. Therefore, it's more of a direct match with Opteron and, to some degree, Deerfield."

The PowerPC 970 appears to have caught some of IBM's engineers by surprise.

"I don't know how much of it was the 970 actually performing better than it was designed or simulated to do and how much of it was a bright bulb lighting over some IBMers head," Haff said. "The idea is 'Wow, this thing is fast. I guess we ought to be using it for something besides workstations."

The new BladeCetner systems will ship with 512MB of memory standard and support up to 4GB of memory. They will also have dual Gigabit Ethernet connections with failover support, an integrated management processor and up to two 40GB IDE hard drives.

The bad news is that the system is not likely to be available until the late first quarter of next year, according to information seen by The Register.

It looks like IBM will offer SuSE Linux and TurboLinux on the system first and not roll out AIX until the third quarter of next year.

"AIX's strength is not in the low end," Haff said. "The future is really with Linux down there."

IBM has, however, already set a list price of $2,699 for a two processor blade and will take orders. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.