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IBM Debuts New BladeCenter Platforms

By Clint Boulton (Send Email)
Posted Jun 22, 2004


At Supercomm 2004 this week, IBM will roll out the eServer Integrated Platform for Telecommunications (IPT), which includes software running carrier-grade Linux on the company's BladeCenter T machine. New platforms for Big Blue's telecommunications customers address convergent applications.

The company began working on the IPT software, geared to propel such applications as VoIP over a network, a couple of years ago to provide a better computing experience for telecommunications carriers and equipment manufacturers, according to Scott Firth, director of eServer telecommunications systems at IBM.

Firth said the move stems from the transition of equipment manufacturers, which traditionally built proprietary systems, that are now looking for open systems based on Linux and hardware, such as blade servers.

"That would give them the ability to rapidly develop new systems and give the carriers the ability to bring out new services quickly," Firth told internetnews.com.

The new software platform is geared to run on the Armonk, N.Y., company's BladeCenter T, a blade server system designed specifically for the telecommunications industry. Firth said IBM anticipates gear manufacturers will "wrap their application" around the BladeCenter T/integrated platform combo and deliver it to service providers and carriers.

IBM is also rolling out the IPT Extended Offering, an IBM Global Services package that combines the BladeCenter T hardware and IBM WebSphere, DB2 and Tivoli software, with services. This is a more complete package for customers that need help implementing the new technology.

Pricing for the new IPT offerings, which are available now, varies according to individual requirements.

Finally, Firth said IBM will also offer the eServer xSeries 343, a telecommunications rack server running dual Intel Xeon 2.4/533 processors. The x343 is expected to be available in August with pricing to be announced.

Server vendors like IBM, HP, Sun Microsystems, and Dell would do well to target the telco sector with new blade systems. For one, telcos have long had some sort of proprietary blade system in their data centers, so they are comfortable with the form factor, Firth said.

For another, communications applications, such as those for VoIP, are increasingly converging in the data center, which is paving the way for open systems, such as Linux running on BladeCenter T. Moreover, telcos generally have more money to spend now than they did a few years ago after the dot-com bubble burst.

Recognizing this convergence, IBM and Cisco have been extending their partnership of late. In April, the two agreed to bundle Cisco switches with IBM servers to boost the performance of data centers. The vendors went on to team up for VoIP provisions in May.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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