Feeds

IBM's Power5 beast takes on Sun, HP - and IBM

Hitting the 64-way barrier

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

IBM is set to start shipping the biggest, baddest Unix servers in its history.

Come November, customers will see the Power5-based p5-590 and p5-595 servers hit the market. The 32-way 590 is a direct replacement for the current Power4+-based p690. The 595, however, breaks new ground for IBM, as the company has finally delivered a box that can hold up to 64 processors. IBM is also touting a new 64-way box in its iSeries line - the i5-595.

These long awaited systems obviously go head-to-head against similar servers from the likes of Sun Microsystems and HP. IBM revitalized its Unix server line with the release of the dual-core Power4 and now looks to put even more pressure on rivals with the high-performing Power5 chip and a more sophisticated version of AIX tuned for the processor.

Of particular note, IBM brags that each Power5 chip can be split up to handle up to 10 logical partitions. This gives customers a way to run more workloads on a single box. In addition, the Power5 chips can churn through more software threads via IBM's multi-threading technology, which was not available on the older Unix boxes. Customers can run AIX, Linux or i5/0S on any of the systems announced today.

While these new features put more pressure on Sun and HP, they also make IBM's Unix machines more competitive against its own mainframe boxes. The 64-processor i5-595 and p5-595 deliver many mainframe-like features but fall a bit more in the "open systems" category, meaning customers can gain price/performance advantages and be less dependent on very proprietary mainframe tools.

The 590 will be offered with a 1.65GHz version of the Power5 chip, while the 595 can ship with either 1.65GHz or 1.90GHz processors.

Customers should note that IBM tends to differ from competitors in the way that it counts processors in a server. When it says a 64-way box, for example, it's using 32 dual-core chips to reach that number. Using this same counting method, Sun's E25K server is a 144 processor box.

Overall, you have to hand it to IBM for pushing its Power5 chip at a steady clip. Sun and HP have only recently rolled out dual-core processors, and Intel won't have a dual-core Itanium chip until next year. Meanwhile, IBM is on its third-generation part.

IBM, however, seems to fall behind rivals a bit with AIX. The company is slow to upgrade the OS and is lacking a number a features offered by competitors. ®

Related stories

Sun kicks off fiscal '05 with a $174m loss
Compaq's servers save HP from enterprise sales hell
IBM slays Shark, intros Power5 storage monster
IBM proclaims open blade spec a success

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.