IBM has announced three machines aimed at consolidating Linux-based web servers in the enterprise, as well as small to medium businesses.

The new offerings will help customers consolidate the more than 1.6 million Linux servers currently in heterogeneous and open-source IT environments, said Scott Handy, vice president of worldwide Linux strategy for IBM, at the Linuxworld OpenSolutions Summit in New York.

The biggest of the three, the IBM System p5 560Q, includes IBM's Advanced Power Virtualization, which runs multiple partitions per processor, allowing a rack of five of the new servers to take the place of 320 x86-based Linux web servers.

Smaller companies will be served with blades, said Handy. Medium-size companies can run their web farms on the BladeCenter JS21, a chassis with 14 JS21 blades, also including Advanced Power Virtualization. One chassis with 14 blades can consolidate 168 Linux x86 servers, according to IBM.

Small businesses can put up to 12 x86 Linux servers on a IBM Bladecenter, using one or two JS21 blades and Advanced Power Virtualization, according to IBM. Another option for small businesses is to consolidate the same amount of Linux servers onto a quad-core System p5 505Q Express server, the company said.

IBM also expanded a deal with Novell to offer BladeCenter customers an open-source software stack based on SuSE Linux. The Integrated Stack for SuSE Linux Enterprise combines Novell's Linux OS with a licence-free version of IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition with web-tier clustering support and IBM DB2 Express-C, a community version of IBM's database server.

The bundle also includes software from Centeris, the Likewise Management Suite, which enables system administrators to manage Linux servers from within an existing Windows server environment, IBM said. The offering previously was previously only available for IBM's x line of servers.

Handy said IBM has shipped more than 1,000 servers with the Integrated Stack for SuSE Linux Enterprise since it delivered it in the third quarter of 2006. The software suite was announced at Linuxworld Boston last April, he added.