IBM brings Unix, faster chip to Power blades

IBM has improved the processor of its JS20 blade servers and now sells them with its AIX version of the Unix operating system, the company plans to announce Tuesday. The changes mean the blades now are a more capable alternative to IBM's lower-end Unix servers, such as the p610 and p615, said Tim Dougherty, director of BladeCenter strategy for IBM.

Big Blue leads competitors including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sun Microsystems in the market for blade servers, thin systems that slide side by side into a chassis like books into a bookshelf. IBM's first blades used Intel processors, but the JS20 uses the PowerPC 970 chip that also appears in Apple's computers. Initial JS20 servers used a 1.6GHz PowerPC 970, but the new models use a 2.2GHz PowerPC 970FX, Dougherty said. Programs perform about 50 percent faster on the new machines, he said. The new systems are scheduled to be available Oct. 29 with a starting price of $2,699.

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News source: c|net

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