With a promise of better performance, lower total cost of ownership, and optimum features for virtualisation, IBM announced the launch of its new IBM Power7 system servers, which builds on the successes of its predecessor.

The release of the new server is timely, according to Simon Piff, director for Enterprise Infrastructure Research of IDC. "Sun is a bit busy with its recent acquisition by Oracle, while HP is focused today on its UCS competition with Cisco," he explained. "It's perfect timing for IBM."

It is perfect timing for CIOs and IT managers as well, Piff added, due to changes brought by the impending economic upturn. Piff, however, stressed that in this crucial transition from a new economic environment to the next, IT departments must change the way they deal with IT financially.

"CFOs want to de-capitalise IT," Piff explained. "There are a lot more scrutiny and oversight regarding IT projects, with much smaller investments being given to IT, forcing managers to very, very clearly justify the ROI for such implementations."

CIOs, said Piff, must "think like business people," while business executives, in turn, need to think about IT more than they think they need to.

Helping CIOs recover the financial loss from the crisis is one of the main drivers for the new IBM server launch, according to Mike Viray, product manager for Power systems, IBM ASEAN.

"CIOs are known to be working harder each day," Viray noted. "With the Power7 system, we want them to work smarter."

Viray said the new Power7 system is able to manage millions of transactions in real time, enabling users to put more workload - around 60 to 80 percent utilisation - into the machine.

Field use reveals the 32-core version of the Power7 can accommodate 15,600 users on SAP, comparable to a 128-core enterprise-grade system from its competitor. Viray said the new server is also four times energy-efficient and can deliver twice the performance at the same base price.

Viray, meanwhile, dispelled notions that the new server release may overpower their Intel-based offerings, which will see a new upgrade by next week. "We acknowledge that there is no single solution to every IT problem, and clients also know that there are some applications best run under our x86 systems while others believe that it's better in our Power systems," he noted.

The Power7 system can run UNIX - and IBM's own flavour AIX - Linux and IBMI operating systems.

IBM said it will continue to maintain its hold of loyal customers for the Power systems among the retail, banking, manufacturing and public sector industries nationwide.