IBM launches Power7 systems; Wages YouTube, Facebook war on Oracle's Sun

Summary:IBM rolled out its latest Power7 systems, which are designed to power everything from smart grids to analytics, but the real story may be Big Blue's attempt to punch Oracle and its Sun Microsystems-powered hardware systems in the mouth via YouTube and Facebook.

IBM on Monday rolled out its latest Power7 systems, which are designed to power everything from smart grids to analytics, but the real story may be Big Blue's attempt to punch Oracle and its Sun Microsystems-powered hardware systems in the mouth via Facebook and YouTube.

Simply put, here's a tale of two messages.

The first message---delivered in IBM's official statement---goes like this (Techmeme):

POWER7 systems can also offer industry-leading return on investment though dramatic improvements in price/performance, energy savings and virtualization for server consolidation. The new systems can deliver four times the performance and four times the virtualization capability for the same price -- and are three to four times more energy efficient. Additionally, the total cost of acquisition and ownership can be better than competitive systems.  For instance, the new IBM Power 750 Express currently delivers 71 percent better price for performance than Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server and more than 280 percent better than Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 and M4000 servers. And the IBM Power 750 Express delivers more than 400 percent better price for performance than the HP Integrity rx7640 or the rx6600 servers.

Toss in the footnotes for the benchmark comparisons and you have the usual corporate-speak found in a tech press release. IBM has four systems coming: IBM Power 780, 770, 755, 750. The gist: These systems are designed for specialized applications with virtual machine software and snazzy chips. IBM wants to grab more share in the Unix market and has spent the last year pummeling Sun. IBM is delivering a full-frontal attack on Oracle's strategy for Sun.

Also: Oracle-Sun's great society vision: Will customers bite? · Oracle-Sun: Strategy set; Will buyers go for the integrated stack?

And then there's the other IBM, which is much more entertaining. This Big Blue is designed to get into the weeds and hit Oracle right in the mouth. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wants his company to be T.J. Watson's IBM and sell complete systems. Perhaps IBM still wants to do the same thing. Did T.J. Watson ever take up boxing?

Enter the "

Servers for Truth" Facebook page. The page comes from IBM's PR team. IBM PR people represent most of the fans for the page at the Power7 launch (for now).

And then there's this YouTube video. If you don't have the minute to spare, here's the short version:

  • The ad is downright cheeky;
  • Says the TPC slapped Oracle for premature benchmark claims;
  • IBM says you can't trust Oracle;
  • The incumbent (IBM) is faster;
  • And IBM ends the commercial with this satanic looking sheep.

Simply put, IBM isn't doing the staid Big Blue jig here. It's unclear whether IBM's video and social media campaigns will land IT buyers, but it's certainly more entertaining---especially when Oracle is likely to swing back shortly.

Related: Server wars: Intel, HP prep new Itanium; IBM launches new Power7 systems

Topics: Cloud, Hardware, IBM, Oracle, Servers, Social Enterprise, Virtualization

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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