IBM Adds to Telco Server Offerings

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Mar 26, 2002


IBM Corp. Tuesday unveiled the eServer x343, a 2U, rack-optimized, Intel-based server designed with telcos in mind that will run a "hardened" version of Linux.

The x343 joins the x300 and x330, in the vendor's eServer xSeries telecommunications portfolio. All three servers are NEBS-compliant. The x300 and x330 are designed for converged voice and data networking environments.

IBM unveils the eServer x343, a 2U, rack-optimized, Intel-based server designed with telcos in mind that will run a 'hardened' version of Linux.

The telecommunications server space is a $4.5 billion market; Sun Microsystems Inc. currently owns nearly 17 percent of the market based on total revenue, according to data from IDC. Hoping to cut into that share, IBM is making this the latest battlefield in its ongoing server "war" with Sun.

This announcement follows just one week after Sun declared its Netra X1 was being repositioned into the Sun Fire line to help tighten the Netra line. (See "Sun Adds Sub-$1,000 Server to Sun Fire Line.") Effective with the repositioning, all servers in the Netra line will be NEBS-certified, carrier grade products designed with telcos in mind.

Big Blue's latest carrier-grade release is compliant with NEBS Level 3 Standards.

The x343 comes with an external alarm panel to assure surveillance of system outages and redundant DC power supplies. The design of the server is intended to stand up to harsh environments such as earthquakes, high temperatures, and high humidity. Its sub-20-inch chassis design was tailored to fit in service provider central offices and switching centers.

The IBM eServer x343 server is priced starting at $10,000, a price point Big Blue cites as being 40 percent lower than a comparable Sun server.

Big Blue claims that the x343 offers 58 percent better performance based on benchmarks measured by Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.

IBM also announced at this time a Linux Service Provider Lab in Oregon for telecom network application providers to test and validate Next Generation Network carrier-grade solutions running on Linux. The lab will have equipment such as the x343 and x330, and will offer a next-generation IP network infrastructure environment for testing applications such as softswitch, wireless infrastructure applications, unified messaging, and network services.

The lab is scheduled to open later this month.

  • Amy Newman is managing editor of sister site ServerWatch.

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