IBM recently announced in Singapore that it has completed a revamp of their server line by pulling them all under the eServer Systems. Although remaining in their separate iSeries, xSeries, pSeries and zSeries, they fall under the same umbrella to serve, as IBM puts it, “…the next generation of e-business”.
This was done to reclaim lost ground in a vendor filled competitive server market. IBM ensures that one IBM server line doesn't compete against another. Research and development is spreading technology from high-end product lines to lesser siblings.
Recent figures from IDC provide modest reinforcement for IBM's optimism. Though its server sales for all of 2000 grew 4 percent, to $13.6 billion--three points slower than the rest of the market--a strong fourth quarter showed 31 percent growth to $4.5 billion, compared with 14 percent growth for the market overall.
Also announced was a repositioning of its NUMA-Q into its x-series of servers. Now known simply as NUMA, these all run on Intel’s PIII Xeon processors and IBM hopes that it will offer users attractive scalability and flexibility all at an attractive price. With support from 4 up to 64 processors, this would make the NUMA a scalable solution for many businesses especially those like Internet data centers (IDC) and Application Service Providers (ASPs). First previewed at CeBit this year, the x430 was unveiled during the transition to the “xSeries” during an introduction of another new eight-processor system (the x370) and two new four-processor models (the x250 and x350). The xSeries was formerly known as the IBM Netfinity.
NUMA offers users the option of running multiple O/Ss on a single system such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, PTX and S/390. Unfortunately, the only version on Linux that is compatible are those released by IBM as there are compatibility issues with the others. Support for the highest-end version of Windows, called Windows 2000 Datacenter will be provided as soon as it is released. This is intended to compete against Unix for use in the most demanding business applications.
With Sun recently launching new servers based on Sun's new UltraSPARC III-processor, and Sun executives expecting them to eventually account for the bulk of the company's sales, it is hoped that in these difficult times, that the growth will continue.