IBM is launching two new servers, the eServer i5 520 for small to medium-sized enterprises and the eServer i5 570 aimed at larger implementations. They are the first products based around the company's new Power5 processor, according to product manager Ian Jarman. Typical applications include Web serving in all areas of the enterprise.

Originally designed as Unix servers, both new eServer models include what Jarman describes as extended virtualisation, the ability to run more than one OS at a time, including IBM's AIX, Windows and Linux, by plugging in a separate board. Jarman said this helps cut the cost of buying multiple servers. All processors will have access to storage and other system resources.

The Power5 processors run at either 1.5GHz or 1.65GHz - clock speeds will improve - and the 570 can be shipped either with one to two-way, or a two to four-way CPUs with a 16-way version to come later this year, The 520 is limited to two-way maximum. Jarman said the Power5-based machines offer double the performance of the Power4-based chassis.

Jarman said: "Our new economic model means memory and disk prices are now same across our Unix servers, resulting in price cuts of up to 80 per cent."

In the 570, maximum RAM for the 570 is 64GB and potential disk capacity stretches to 39TB. A basic system will cost $74,000 (£41,700), with typical configurations moving north of $100,000 - UK prices have yet to be announced. An entry-level eServer i5 520 will cost $11,500 (£6,485), and both will ship to customers from 11 June.