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IBM Aims P5 At SMB Market

By David Utter

New UNIX systems for small and medium businesses utilizing a version of the IBM Power5 chip will be available from IBM in quad-core and other configurations.

In the latest bit of news from IBM, Big Blue tosses a bit of cold water on Sun in the wake of Sun's non-news conference held jointly with Google yesterday. IBM announced a new lineup of servers running its Power5 chip architecture, and made certain to show where the new hardware exceeds similar offerings from Sun.

Aiming for the small and medium business market, those enterprises generally staffed with fewer than 1,000 employees, IBM has several versions of the new servers available. They will be available from one-way to eight-way configurations, one of which, the p5 550Q, will use a quad core module.

IBM lists a few different operating systems available in combination for the p5 systems: AIX 5L, Red Hat, or Novell SUSE. Using its Director 5.10 software for virtualization, operating systems can operate independently or simultaneously through logical platforms.

With multiple processing threads available from dual or quad core systems, IBM sees its new machines as being suited for databases or other high-demand applications. IBM said in the release its p5 550 is the fastest 4-way Java business and web application server.

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IBM also disclosed its Power5+ systems. These are machines aimed at enterprises requiring heavy calculation and supercomputing application support. IBM touts a sustained 87.3 Gflop/s performance for a p5 575 cluster node. And, IBM tosses another shot at Sun in discussing a Power5+ workstation: "The IntelliStation POWER 285 offers more than twice the performance of the Sun Blade 2500"

About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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