Hardware Today: IBM Server Snapshot

By Drew Robb (Send Email)
Posted Sep 27, 2005


IBM would seem to have it made. The server vendor is No. 1 worldwide in revenue according to IDC, with six distinct product lines and a steady stream of new releases. According to the research firm, IBM is tops in Unix server revenue (a 31 percent share) and blade servers (a 40.9 percent share), and No. 2 in Linux servers (a 20.3 percent share). Factor in its near monopoly in mainframes and consistent sales in Intel-based servers, and it's difficult to see any vendor posing a threat to IBM any time soon.

Recent Server Snapshots
Fujitsu
Unisys
Sun
Dell
HP
HPC Market
Apple
SGI
IBM may be No. 1, but it's not content to rest on its laurels. From blades to its mainframes, big changes are afoot.

"IBM maintains the No. 1 spot in the worldwide server systems market with 31.9 percent market share in factory revenue, growing its revenue by 4.1 percent when compared to the second quarter of 2004," says IDC's Jean Bozman.

IBM has been comparatively quiet in recent months as far as its iSeries (midrange servers), pSeries (Unix servers), and OpenPower (Linux) lines. The big noise has come from the zSeries (mainframe) and xSeries (Intel- and AMD-based servers) lines.

Before we take a close look at changes that have occurred in the xSeries and zSeries lines, we offer a panoramic view of all six IBM server lines with the following chart.


IBM eServer at a Glance

Server Line
iSeries
pSeries
xSeries
BladeCenter and BladeCenter T (Telecom Chassis)
zSeries
OpenPower
Description Midrange servers Unix servers Intel- and AMD-based servers Intel-, AMD-, and POWER-based servers Mainframe-class servers Servers Tuned for Linux
Target Deployment SMBs and enterprise departments Data centers of all sizes Scale-up and scale-out x86 users SMB, data centers, high performance, and telecom Large and midsize enterprises running mission-critical applications SMBs and budget-conscious enterprises
Processor Type POWER4, POWER5 POWER4, POWER5, JS20: PowerPC 970 P4, Xeon, Itanium-2 Opteron, Xeon, POWER 16 chip IBM Multichip Module (MCM)
Multiple-channel subsystem (MCSS) allows logical partitions (LPARs) which can run different operating systems
POWER5
Processor Range Small to Medium: 1- to 2-way;
Medium/Large: 6- to 24-way; 8- to 16-way, 16- to 32-way, 32- to 64-way
Entry: 2- to 4-way;
Midrange: 2- to 16-way;
High-End: 32- to 64-way
Rack-Optimized: 1- to 4-way;
Tower: 1- to 4-way;
High-Performance scalable: 4- to 16-way
Support for 2-way POWER- and 4-way Intel-based servers 2 to 4 logical channel subsystems
z9 scales from 1- to 54-way
Rack-mount or deskside 1- to 4-way
Operating Systems i5 (V5R3), OS/400 V5R2, Windows, Linux, and AIX-5L AIX-5L and Linux Windows, Linux, AIX, and MVS Windows, Linux, and AIX-5L z/OS, z/OS.e, OS/390, Linux on zSeries, z/VM, TPF, VSE/ESA, zVSE, and zTPF Linux
Servers Small to Medium:
800
810
i5 5201
Medium to Large:
825
870
890
i5 570
i5 595
Entry-Level:
615 6C3
630 6C4
615 6E3
630 6E4
p5 5102
p5 520
p5 550
Midrange:
650
655
670
Cluster 1600
RS/6000 SP
p5 570
High-End:
690
p5 575
p5 590
p5 595
High Performance Computing:
Commercial Blue Gene3
Rack-optimized:
306
336
343
346
366
Tower:
100
206
226
236
255
260
High-Performance Scalable:
4454
455
460
Opteron:
eServer 326
Intel-based
HS20
HS40
POWER-based
JS20
Opteron-based
LS20
890
990
900
8005
710
720
Price Range6 Small to Medium: The starting price for the eServer i5 520 Express Edition is 11,9957
Medium to Large: The starting price for the eServer i5 570 1- and 2-way with Standard Edition is $71,0008
Entry: Starts at $3,967
Midrange: Starts at $24,927
High-End: Contact IBM
Rack-optimized: Starts at $1,159
Tower: Starts at $499
High-Performance scalable: Contact IBM
HS20: starts at $1,669 (economy)
HS40: Starts at $4,999 (economy)
JS20: Starts at $2,259
LS20: Starts at $2,259
z890: Starts at less than $200,000
Others: Contact IBM
710: Starts at $4,713
720: Starts at $5,000

1 New i5 systems are part of the iSeries line despite the slightly different nomenclature.
2 New p5 systems are part of the pSeries line despite the slightly different nomenclature. The pSeries line also includes the JS20, 2-way PowerPC 970 BladeCenter system.
3 Commercial Blue Gene runs PowerPC 970 processors and is 5.7 teraflops. Contact IBM for pricing.
4 The 445 replaces the 440.
5 The zSeries line also includes the S/390 G5/G6 and S/390 Multiprise, which are no longer sold but are still supported.
6 Based on IBM's posted prices.
7 The packaged configuration includes 70 GB of disk, 1 GB of memory, and a DVD and tape drive.
8 Does not include prepackaged disk and memory.

>> Strategies for Mainframes and Blades

Page 1 of 2


Comment and Contribute

Your name/nickname

Your email

(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.