IBM forges ahead with dual blade strategy

Dual-architecture strategy explained: IBM's Power processor and Intel's Pentium line have evolved differently, and there will continue to be a need for both, says IBM

IBM is going ahead with a "blade" server strategy that includes two processor architectures. The strategy will see IBM launching a blade based on its own Power processor later this year, adding to its line of Intel-based blades. "Even though a higher form of life has evolved -- humanity -- the chimpanzee continues to exist," said Tikiri Wanduragula, IBM senior eServer consultant. "The chimpanzee has evolved very well for its role in the world." PSeries servers and blades based on the Power processor will continue to have a role in high-performance computing and running IBM's AIX version of Unix, and the Power processor is also at the heart of the iSeries servers. "I can see a market for pSeries blade, in consolidating pSeries installations" said Robin Porter, IBM business manager at reseller Repton. "Some pSeries users will move to Linux on Intel, but there will be a continuous market for pSeries Unix systems." However, he stressed that the cost-justification for server consolidation is much stronger for Intel servers, which have tended to grow up uncontrollably in many organisations. IBM's dual processor blade strategy is the reverse from Sun Microsystem which has launched blades based on its own SPARC processor first, and will deliver Intel blades later. Intel represents a departure from Sun's strategy of promoting its SPARC systems.

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