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Big Blue: 'New PureSystem? Madness? No, THIS IS SPARTA!'

October date set for server family launch bash

IBM Flex Chassis, front view

The details are a bit sketchy, but in a week or so IBM hopes to unveil an update for its PureSystems family of modular boxes focussed on big data and cloud computing.

Big Blue is hosting an online product launch for "the new PureSystems family member" on 9 October, and the company will talk about the kit at events in major US cities as well as the webcast. The launch will be a day before IBM's Big Data Developer Day in Boston, which may or may not have a related theme.

The PureSystems machines, developed under the code name "Project Troy" and announced in April, are based on the Flex System modular systems that bear a strong resemblance to server upstart Cisco Systems' "California" Unified Computing System machines, converge servers, switching, and storage into a single chassis (like blade servers) with integrated management (also like blade servers).

The difference is that both PureSystems and UCS boxes have better physical layout, allowing for hotter server components not normally allowed in blade servers to be used and packed in the same rack space as blades, and they arguably each have more sophisticated management tools than blades offer.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the new machines coming on 9 October were developed under the name "Project Sparta", and hopefully IBM's server divisions are not at war with each other as in days gone by. The WSJ blog cites sources saying that these new PureSystems machines will focus on big data munching.

IBM Project Sparta launch invite

IBM's own launch invite suggests it will have the dual theme of big data and cloud, and that could mean anything, really. It is possible that Big Blue could put the impending new Power7+ processors, expected to be launched on 3 October, into Flex System nodes and tune them up to run Hadoop big data munching software along with some special sauce whipped up by the smarties at IBM Research.

IBM could also be launching the expected integrated form of the Storwize V7000 arrays that it has promised for the Flex System chassis. There's not much chatter out there on the intertubes yet as to what Big Blue has in store, but we'll let you know as soon as we catch wind. ®

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