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IBM Introduces New "Virtualization-Ready" System x Server


previewed today the fourth generation of its chipset technology, X4, to be available in a high-end, scalable server leveraging the latest in quad-core processing technology from Intel. The System x3950 M2 server will debut a new embedded hypervisor capability, enabling clients to easily deploy virtualized server applications right out of the box.

X4 marks significant advances in performance, availability and processing efficiencies for its System x line of servers, adding to IBM’s X-Architecture portfolio of innovation for x86 servers. X4 will enable richer x86 server configurations to fuel the growth of virtualization on high-end systems. Several other new features will allow clients to easily adopt virtualization.

The new system will be ready for virtualization right out of the box by eliminating software setup and installation time. An internal USB interface will accommodate chip-based or “embedded” virtualization software preloaded on a 4GB USB flash storage device.
The new system offers double the memory slot capacity. Four times the amount of memory can be hosted on a single chassis compared to the previous system, enabling more virtualization workloads.
IBM has developed and released three generations of X-Architecture chipsets since 1997, and remains the only top-tier vendor in the industry to incorporate its own chipset in Intel-based servers. The third generation chipset, X3, introduced in 2005, was optimized for server consolidation and enterprise application software, and gave rise to widespread adoption of server virtualization solutions. By the end of 2006, IBM more than doubled its client engagements for virtualization on x86 systems enabling IBM clients to deploy on average a total of 1,000 virtual machines a day to address power consumption, heat dissipation and physical space limitations in the data center.
“IBM’s steadfast investment to design and build mainframe-inspired capabilities for industry-standard servers has helped to propel it to the industry leadership position in high-end x86 computing, making it easier for clients to adopt virtualization,” (1) said James Northington, vice president and business line executive, IBM System x. “With X-Architecture, IBM successfully blended enterprise capabilities with the volume economies of x86 computing. With consistent investment in innovation, IBM is well positioned to help clients optimize their data centers for growth into the next decade.”

“Intel and IBM have a long-standing relationship developing innovative platforms for the enterprise that help businesses grow. We are very excited that IBM has continued to innovate with, and invest in Intel’s Expandable Xeon processor family by bringing out the fourth generation of their chipset,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the Server Product Group, Intel. “By combining IBM’s X4 chipset and Intel’s quad-core processing technology, System x servers will continue to demonstrate leading-edge technology breakthroughs to make it easier for any company to reap the benefits of virtualizing its infrastructure.”

About IBM X-Architecture
By leveraging IBM’s mainframe and supercomputer chip experience, the company has consistently enhanced three industry-standard server components -- processors, memory and I/O -- to deliver unparalleled high-end capabilities to x86 computing. Since 1997, IBM has developed leading-edge server architecture to provide high performance and mainframe-inspired reliability that creates the ideal platform for today’s database processing and highly consolidated, virtual server environments. IBM is set to release its latest generation chipset, X4, marking significant advances in performance, availability and processing efficiencies for its x86 line of enterprise servers.


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