IBM has launched three new x86-based servers aimed at consolidation via virtualisation, and new virtualisation systems management software.

The new hardware consists of the System x3950 aimed at database, ERP and server consolidation, the four-CPU System x3850 for 64-bit and mid-range applications, and the System x3800, a multi-purpose server with large internal storage capacity for remote and branch-office solutions.

The 3U format x3950, and the other three new products are the first featuring IBM's new System x architecture, which supports up to 32 dual-core 64-bit, multi-processor Xeon processors. The x3850 is a 3U rack-mounted server with up to four Xeon MP processors, while the x3800, in a tower or a 7U rack-mounted box, supports four dual-core Xeon MPs and can address up to 3.6TB of storage internally. All include support for Serial Attached SCSI.

The System x nomenclature is, said IBM, an evolution of its xSeries product line and "is designed to help migration to a systems-based approach to x86 computing". Essentially, it's a name change for a set of products including not just servers but storage and associated accessories. IBM said it expects to introduce more systems under the System x umbrella in coming months.

New software

Big Blue said that the new software, dubbed IBM Consolidation Discovery and Analysis Tool (CDAT), would help address high demand for virtualisation and speed virtualisation deployment. CDAT can discover untapped utilisation and hidden servers across the network and find opportunities to consolidate and virtualise x86 systems, said Big Blue.

CDAT software helps create a single dashboard to simplify and view a client’s computing utilisation rates, according to IBM. Through the LAN, the software automatically scans resources on the IP network to discover all the computing systems across the data centre - including Unix, mainframe and x86 servers. It maps the topology for the systems infrastructure, including the operating systems, utilisation rates, and performance rates. The map helps identify operational cost savings, according to Big Blue.

Over 600 systems integrators are trained and ready, said the company, to help speed data centre automation via virtualisation.


“IBM has the hardware, software and services capabilities required to capture the lion’s share of the x86 virtualisation opportunity. And our record as a systems vendor with more than four decades of virtualisation experience gives us unique expertise to lead the x86 segment on delivering higher performance and greater enterprise tasks,” said product manager Susan Whitney. “IBM has built Virtualisation Engine technologies into System x and is delivering the innovative tools needed to help customers drive efficiencies in their business operations.”

“IBM CDAT has helped us add great value to our client engagements and has enabled us to achieve a 90 per cent win rate with customers. By utilising the tool, we are able to offer our customers a view of their entire global network infrastructure,” said Vic Verola, sales director for Vicom Computer Services, an IBM reseller/integrator. “While competitors rely on benchmark data and guess work, IBM’s automated data collection and performance analysis process ensures accurate identification of long-term solutions for our customers, to help ensure maximum operational cost savings.”