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IBM Brings Power of World's Fastest Chip, Efficiencies of New Virtualization Technology to SMB Customers
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it is bringing its POWER6™ microprocessor-based technology to small and medium-sized customers and delivering new virtualization offerings designed to help those customers consolidate server capacity, save energy and more effectively manage their IT costs. A "virtualized" approach to computing is designed to allow corporations around the world to reduce energy consumption by as much as 80 percent, better manage system growth, and achieve total cost of ownership reductions of up to 72 percent.

Virtualization technology allows multiple server functions to run on fewer servers. For example, one server could run many operating systems and simultaneously host several business applications. Deploying these virtualization capabilities can help lower IT costs and business risks, increase efficiency and flexibility, simplify deployment and management, enhance overall business resilience and enable new forms of innovation.

Addressing these requirements, IBM introduced today a new virtualization platform -- PowerVM™ Express -- specially made to enable customers to better manage their IT costs, drive maximum energy efficiency and increase resource utilization. PowerVM provides virtualization solutions for the broadest range of operating systems in the industry, including AIX® -- IBM's UNIX® operating system, Linux®, and i5/OS® for System i™ customers.

When combined with new POWER6 microprocessor-based System p™ servers and BladeCenter® servers -- designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses -- customers can create up to 160 virtual partitions in a single system, dramatically improving the utilization of the servers.

"Virtualization has typically been in the domain of large enterprises. Today we aim to simplify the adoption of virtualization technologies, making it available to small and medium-sized businesses," said Scott Handy, vice president of marketing and strategy, IBM Power™ Systems. "The capabilities we deliver when combining IBM's leadership virtualization software and POWER6 technology in our new offerings take us beyond just world-class performance and allow us to help clients build more efficient businesses by saving time, space and money."

PowerVM software -- formerly known as Advanced POWER™ Virtualization (APV) -- is now available in Express, Standard and Enterprise Editions. New to all three PowerVM editions is a feature -- at no additional charge -- that allows System p servers to run Linux x86 binary applications unmodified without recompilation, in addition to UNIX and Linux on POWER applications.

According to IDC, spending on virtualization software and services is expected to exceed $15 billion worldwide by 2011, up from $6.5 billion in 2006. Forrester says that awareness of server virtualization by companies with 500-999 employees jumped from 60 percent to 86 percent in one year.

Many of the attributes of virtualization technology, a mainstay in many IBM large systems for more than 40 years, are now being utilized by customers large and small. Nearly 70 percent of IBM POWER6 processor-based System p servers use PowerVM technology today. In addition to systems management and cost benefits, the PowerVM platform provides customers with new options to improve system and application availability, allowing reductions or elimination of planned downtime.

While competitive virtualization offerings in the industry are limited to supporting Intel processor-based servers, IBM's leadership innovation with the POWER6 microprocessor and PowerVM virtualization software enables customers to partition below the processor level to one-tenth of the processor.

OSRAM SYLVANIA, a leader in lighting solutions and specialty products that feature innovative design and energy-saving technology, was reaching server capacity and wanted to avoid costly upgrades to their existing systems. The company was challenged to significantly reduce operating costs as they implemented a new five-year strategy. IBM System p servers, PowerVM virtualization technology, and migration services from IBM provided the right solution.

"Upon researching the problem, we were convinced that IBM offered the best support for the transition, the best technology for operations, and the best strategy for long-term development," said Jeffrey Ruck, director of IT infrastructure services, OSRAM SYLVANIA. "In two separate projects, we were able to consolidate a total of 61 UNIX and x86 servers from HP and Dell to 11 System p servers running AIX. The IBM Migration and x86 Server Consolidation Factory teams spearheaded the project, and as a result system response is twice as fast, the CPU footprint has been reduced by a factor of four, and we're able to deliver better business results with less power and less cooling, and with significantly lower license costs."

In addition to the introduction of PowerVM today, IBM also announced: 

  • Two new POWER6 processor-based UNIX servers, the entry-level System p 520 Express and entry-level System p 550 Express, both built to handle mission-critical business workloads and both expected to entice additional Solaris and HP/UX customers to switch to IBM.
  • A new release of the i5/OS operating system, IBM's flagship operating environment for small and medium-size clients using the System i platform with new support for the IBM BladeCenter® POWER6-based JS22 blade server.
  • First-time support for the BladeCenter JS22 and JS21 Express blade servers with AIX and Linux in the  breakthrough office-friendly BladeCenter S chassis, designed for smaller firms and distributed enterprises.
  •  A new x86 Server Consolidation Factory offering, built on the success of previous IBM Migration Factory offerings, designed to help customers migrate from competitive x86 platforms to IBM System p with the new PowerVM virtualization software.   

For more information about IBM's announcements today, please visit http://www.ibm.com/press/attachments/23379.pdf

Published Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:47 PM by David Marshall
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