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IBM blocks out the Sun

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It looks like IBM's initial Power7-based servers are going to be launched in New York on February 8. Big Blue sent out the invitations today.

IBM is being vague about exactly what it wants to talk about at the event, which is being held Mandarin Oriental Hotel Ballroom on Columbus Circle, except to say that customers and partners will be there and that it will be "showcasing the role of technology in a Smarter Planet."

The main role of technology, of course, is to make Big Blue some big profits.

The word on the street, which has not (and will not) be confirmed by IBM is that the company is going to start its rollout of Power7-based machines at the bottom of the product line, which makes sense if yields are relatively low on the eight-core chips. IBM can package up half-dud Power7 chips and still make a respectable entry server, and even if midrange or high-end boxes end up coming out first, this will nonetheless be true.

IBM has offered a few more hints of what it is up to in an advertisement that ran in the Wall Street Journal:

IBM Power7 WSJ Advertisement

As you can see, IBM has threatened to block out the Sun (er, surely you mean the Oracle?) if data centers don't shell out money to buy Power7 machinery.

But seriously. Here's what IBM is saying:

Power your planet.

In February, IBM will introduce the next generation Power Systems - the first of a family of systems and storage designed to meet the demands of a smarter planet. From the chip and virtualization capabilities all the way through to the operating system, middleware and energy management, Power Systems from IBM are integrated to help support the complex workloads and dynamic computing models of a new kind of world.

Power Systems - the future of Unix servers. They're coming. Smarter systems for a Smarter Planet.

ibm.com/poweryourplanet

If history is any guide, IBM will have an over-arching stack of announcements coming at customers from all angles, and the Power7 servers will end up getting buried in the mix. (That certainly happened this time last year with IBM's Dynamic Infrastructure blitzkrieg). History also tells us that IBM tends to announce an entire Power Systems lineup, with shipments staggered and high-end boxes shipping last, since these systems need the chips with all of the components working properly and running at the highest clock speeds. ®

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