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IBM preps Power6-based blade and Blue Business Platform

Making another bundle

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IBM has some server shenanigans planned in the coming months, and we'd like to share them with you.

Let's start with IBM's blade servers. In February, IBM will dish out its long-awaited Power6-based blade server, according to David Tareen, a marketing manager at IBM. That February date proves important as it gives some sort of time line for figuring out how IBM will push the Power6 chips through its product line.

Thus far, IBM is only shipping the midrange p570 server with the new Power6 chips. Big Blue seems to be taking its sweet time adding the speedy processor to lower- and higher-end gear. But you'd expect the blade server to stand as just about the last to get Power6, meaning customers should see a full Power6-based server line by early 2008.

The Power6-based blade marks the first time IBM has taken its high-end RISC chip to the compact form factor. So far, IBM has relied on the PowerPC 970 for its RISC blades.

IBM has said that the Power6-based blade will run i5/OS in addition to AIX. It has also revealed that the blade will use a low voltage version of Power6 running in the low 4GHz range.

From these concrete blade plans, we move to the speculative.

During an interview, Tareen also mentioned that IBM plans to launch something called the Blue Business Platform.

What is the Blue Business Platform exactly? Er, good question.

"We have stuff on the way that is really going to change the way that you deliver hardware and the ISV stack that is important to SMBs, so that you can buy one product as a solution," Tareen said. "I am happy to see that inside IBM we are starting to move laterally across divisions to come out with solutions that are closely integrated."

That's all we could weasel out of Tareen before his public relations representative pulled out the duct tape.

Based on our discussion, it seems that IBM will build on its Express products aimed at SMBs by adding pre-installed software bundles with its servers. In the end, you get a Business Platform - grrrr - rather than just a box. Or so it sounds.

Are you blue and/or a business platform? Let us know. ®

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