IBM this week introduced a range of new Power 7-based servers that fill out its System p offerings on both the high-end and low-end of the performance scale. The new servers come a few months after the first batch of mostly mid-range servers came on the market, the first to support IBM's Power 7 processor.
IBM introduced the Power 7 processor in February. The processor comes in four-, six- and eight-core configurations and is aimed squarely at Intel's Itanium and Sun's UltraSparc. IBM has been quite aggressive in pursuing those customers with offers of migration assistance in moving off the old hardware.
On the low end, IBM announced four servers under the "Express" brand name, starting at $6,385. These servers – formally named IBM Power 710, 720, 730 and 740 Express – are designed as power-efficient rack-mounted or tower servers for small to medium-sized companies, or as departmental servers.
The Power 710 Express is a one-socket, 2U rack server; the Power 720 Express is a one-socket server available as either a 4U or a tower; the Power 730 Express is a two-socket, 2U rack server; and the Power 740 Express is a one- or two-socket server in either a 4U rack or a tower configuration.
They can be loaded with IBM's AIX Unix, Linux, or IBM i, which was previously known as i5/OS.
On the high-end, IBM is offering the Power 795, a server capable of scaling to 64 processors and 8TB of memory. IBM says it is more than four times the performance of the best of IBM's previous generation of servers, the Power 595.
The Power 795 also has a number of unique IBM features to improve performance. It uses IBM's EnergyScale technology to vary the CPU clock frequency based on the workload, while Active Memory Expansion uses memory compression technology to make the physical memory on the server appear to be double what it actually is.
The new servers also come with IBM's PowerVM virtualization software, which can run more than 1,000 virtual servers on a single physical system. Customers can connect two Power 795 systems with Power Flex, which allows administrators to shift workloads between systems while they are running live, helping to balance workloads without interruption.
The new IBM servers are expected to ship on September 17.