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At the same time, the performance of these solutions, especially at the three-way and higher CPU levels illustrate the value of innovation when creating a solution.

The use of HTX as opposed to PCI Express benefits memory handling and allows what the company claims to be near linear four-way scaling of processors. The ability to maintain faster front bus speeds (667MHz) to memory when deploying more than sixteen DIMMs also provides an advantage as systems and memory requirements scale upward.

The technological prowess of the AMD chip as well as the IBM hardware and software, individually all make this possible, but creative innovation in assembling components is what makes for compelling solutions.

For those with memory and compute-intensive applications, these performance innovations will likely be viewed as welcome news. Likewise, Cool Blue offers IT managers the opportunity to reign in power and cooling issues that are plaguing many data centers today.

Proactively managing power consumption not only helps improve the operational headroom of the data center, it also reduces the need for cooling by simply not creating as much heat in the first place. The power (no pun intended) of Cool Blue should not be overlooked as it represents a customized and dynamic approach to energy management within the data center: an important tool in the quest of enhanced operational efficiency.

The notion of Business Performance Computing is an interesting one that IBM is positioning as a new market segment, but also one that curiously harkens back to the basics of IT of many years past.

Prior to the specialization and marketing goofiness that started in the 1990s, IT investments used to be about improving the operations of a business to create competitive advantage, or in other terms, boosting its business performance.

While today it may require a specific statement of fact to this effect, it is, nevertheless, to our way of thinking the absolutely correct approach to take. Perhaps much like with the internet, the success of BPC will be ultimately achieved when we stop talking about it.

Nevertheless, the top IT needs of organizations remain cost-effectiveness and the ability to dynamically allocate resources to support business process. We applaud the targeting of the product offerings to specific workload combinations, a feature-focused as opposed to technology-focused view of capability, and one that we think is more in line with business as opposed to technology-focused mindsets.

Overall, we believe the processor, memory, Cool Blue, and other innovative features of these offering are timely, if not compelling, reflections of the issues facing data centers today.

Copyright © 2006, The Sageza Group

Clay Ryder is president of analyst and consulting firm The Sageza Group. Prior to founding The Sageza Group, Clay was vice president and chief analyst at Zona Research.

This article was first published at IT-Analysis.com

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