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IBM gets flexible with converged Power, x86 system

Cloudy server, storage, networking, and software mashup

PureApplication system platform cloud blocks

IBM sells software, of course, and even though it doesn't make much coin selling Windows or Linux (whatever slice a reseller can get), it does make plenty of dough peddling WebSphere middleware and DB2 database software. And the PureApplication platform cloud systems announced today do just that.

Sibley says that IBM will eventually offer versions of the PureApplication systems based on Power-based nodes running AIX, but for now, the initial four configurations will be based on Xeon E5-2600 nodes running Linux. There is no plan to create PureApplication platform systems based on Windows or IBM at this point.

It seems highly unlikely that IBM's Software Group top brass – this means Steve Mills, its general manager, and who in July 2010 took over Systems and Technology Group as well – is itching to peddle Oracle or Microsoft software on these PureApplication boxes. IBM may be forced into doing it based on customer preferences, but there's no way IBM is going to start there.

These PureApplication machines will be certified to run third party applications right out of the box, and over 125 ISVs are ready to roll with the "patterns" or recipes that are used to deploy their applications on the IBM iron. These patterns are what IBM is talking about when it says the Flex boxes "expert" and "integrated," but I still don't understand it enough to get what Big Blue is talking about.

Early shipments of the PureApplication machines in mid-May, with general availability expected on July 31. There are four configurations, all orderable with a single product number as shown and all with software entitlement for WebSphere and DB2 across the capacity shown:

  • W1500-96: 96 cores, 1.5TB of main memory, 6.4TB of solid state storage, 48TB of hard disk storage
  • W1500-192: 192 cores, 3.0TB of memory, 6.4TB of SSD, 48TB of disk storage
  • W1500-384: 384 cores, 6.1TB of memory, 6.4TB of SSD, 48TB of disk storage
  • W1500-608: 608 cores, 9.7TB of memory, 6.4TB of SSD, 48TB of hard disk storage

Pricing for the PureApplication platform iron was not announced, and neither was the precise software stack on them at press time. But we'll keep digging. ®

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