IBM Pushes Unix Envelope

Arthur Cole

IBM unveiled two new Power System servers featuring the 5 GHz Power6 processor in a bid to raise the bar against Unix rivals HP and Sun.


The new Power 575 Hydro-Cluster is an extremely dense configuration that packs 448 processor cores into a single rack, which effectively doubles performance over current Power5 systems. The 575 uses a new in-rack water cooling system that keeps energy consumption at the same level as the Power5.


The new Power 595 system is being billed as the fastest Unix system on the market. The 64-core, 128-thread machine uses dual memory controllers and a new symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) interconnect system that establishes point-to-point connections as new core nodes are added to boost bandwidth used for processor, memory and cache functions. The 595 supports up to 4 TB of memory per server, as well as four memory operations per cycle and an aggregate memory bandwidth in excess of 1.3 TBps.


IBM is looking to eat into the installed base of HP and Sun servers through the Power Rewards program, which offers points toward migration services and other benefits for each Sun or HP core that is retired. Quadruple points are awarded for PA-RISC trade-ins in light of the retirement of PA-RISC-based HP Superdomes by the end of the year.

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