This is a multi-part message in MIME format. -- [ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ] http://www.iseriesnetwork.com/nwn/story.cfm?ID=13693 Marching right along with its dedicated server initiatives, Big Blue last week announced plans to release Linux-dedicated iSeries and zSeries servers in March. Both offerings are meant to encourage Linux shops to consolidate on IBM hardware, Big Blue says. But while the mainframe alternative can feasibly consolidate upward of one hundred Sun and Intel servers, the iSeries can consolidate a max of 15. Some think that's not enough to get non-iSeries shops to make the move to a new platform. "Our goal is to deliver an extremely competitive, aggressively priced Linux server-consolidation offering for small to midsized customers," says IBM spokesman Tim Dallman. The iSeries Linux dedicated server will be a batch-only model 820 that won't provide any interactive processing features, meaning that traditional AS/400 apps won't run on it. "IBM's not trying to target an iSeries customer who wants to run iSeries standard applications plus Linux," says Lennie Broich, IBM senior product manager for iSeries product marketing. Those customers would be better off buying a 270 model, he says, on which they could run interactive applications as well as a couple of Linux partitions. With the current offering, Big Blue hopes to catch the attention of customers running multiple Linux servers. "This offering helps non- iSeries users in terms of both management and cost," Broich says. The Linux-dedicated iSeries server will be available in uniprocessor (820-0150), 2-way (820-0151), and 4-way (820-0152) versions, the largest of which will be able to consolidate up to 15 standalone Linux servers. Though it won't come with the Linux software preloaded, the iSeries' Linux offering will include an installation wizard for rapid deployment of Linux distributions from SuSE and TurboLinux, which must be purchased separately. Red Hat Linux will be likely be available for the box later this year when it's iSeries distribution is released. Customers will get a 15 percent to 20 percent price break as compared to the price of a standard model 820 box. Specifics on pricing will be available later this year. The Linux-dedicated zSeries box will run Linux only, but, as with the iSeries version, the software won't come preloaded. Red Hat, TurboLinux, and SuSE will be available for the zSeries dedicated- Linux server, one model of which will be available with an expandable configuration from a uniprocessor to a 4-way, Dallman says. If IBM is planning to make server consolidation its sole branding tactic for this latest dedicated iSeries server, the price break had better be pretty significant, says Bill Claybrook, Aberdeen Group's research director for Linux and open-source software. While Claybrook says the sheer number of potential Linux instances able to run on the zSeries' dedicated Linux offering stands to make it a viable choice for server consolidation, he's less convinced that the iSeries offering will have similar appeal. "It's questionable whether people will actually go out and buy an iSeries to consolidate their workloads for only 15 partitions," he says. "The success depends on how much of a price break customers are getting." A definite selling point, however, is the ease with which customers can generate additional copies of Linux as the business expands. "Partitions allow a new Linux server to be up and running in a matter of minutes," Claybrook says, as opposed to running out and purchasing yet another Sun or Intel server to add to the company's server farm. But because of the iSeries dedicated-Linux server's limited number of partitions, businesses must consider how much they expect to expand in deciding whether it's a worthy alternative, Claybrook says. "Unless it's very, very inexpensive, there will be less interest in the iSeries." -- Jill R. Aitoro, Industry Reporter, iSeries Network --
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