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IBM Untangles Cable Spaghetti

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IBM rolled out new connectivity technology that it said would cut down on the on the tangles of chords tying together rack-mounted servers.The Armonk, N.Y., company announced the Advanced Connectivity Technology (ACT) would enable businesses to using Intel-based servers to use up to 90 percent less rack space by allowing them to link 256 server to a single switch instead of just 16 servers. ACT will support IBM’s entire line of xSeries servers.

Big Blue debuts new connectivity technology that cuts down on the number of switches needed to link up servers.

In addition, IBM unveiled a new 2U rack-based server, the eServer x345, which uses Intel’s Xeon processor and boasts six hot-swap hard disk drives and five PCI slots.

“In the past five years, the amount of cabling in the average data center has grown significantly as rackable servers have gotten smaller, allowing customers to pack more systems into their data centers,” said James Gargan, VP of IBM’s eServer xSeries. “We are able to help solve rack ecosystem deployment problems with our new x345 and ACT technology.”

Both ACT and the eServer x345 will be available at the end of the month. ACT will sell for $1,300, while the server begins at $2,799.

ACT uses a so-called “daisy-chain” design to allow each server to be linked to the closest server on the rack, with the final server connected to the management switch.

In related news Friday, IBM signed a cross-licensing agreement with UNOVA which will grant both companies rights to each other’s extensive intellectual property portfolios. The agreement includes the licensing of UNOVA’s smart battery patents.

Smart battery is UNOVA’s description of its patented technology in which a rechargeable battery contains a chip that communicates with a host computer to monitor and regulate battery use; the technology is estimated to extend useful battery life by 30 to 40 percent.

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