Feeds

IBM brings PPC 970 – aka G5 – to blades

Linux first

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.