IBM reduces server sprawl with new eX5 portfolio

Introduces all-new class of x86 systems

IBM is offering organisations an opportunity to experience more scalable, workload-tuned computing on the x86 platform. The company has launched new eX5 servers that have the ability to break the technical barriers to reach this goal.

These first-of-its-kind systems are the result of a three-year engineering effort in the direction of improving the economics of operating enterprise-sized, x86-based systems.

By creating a highly virtualised environment, the eX5 systems can give users a flexible, highly scalable system that can reduce the number of servers needed by half, cut storage costs by 97 per cent and licensing fees by 50 per cent.

The new servers will be available for commercial use sometime in March 2010.

Demanding workloads

The new solution from IBM will bring down costs of existing IT infrastructure and is ideal for demanding workloads. The new launch will also increase the market share of IBM that enjoyed more revenue share than any of the major x86 server vendors in each quarter of 2009, according to research firm IDC.

IBM has expanded the capabilities of the x86 platform by decoupling memory from its traditional, tightly bound place alongside the server's processor. This engineering move has ensured that companies don't have to buy another server to support growing memory-intensive workloads.

Because the new class of x86-based systems can offer about six times the memory scalability available in the market today, it can help organisations to reduce the burgeoning cost of operating industry-standard data centers.

Game changing solution

The IBM eX5 systems have been used by Acxiom, a provider of interactive marketing services that serves a range of clients including the top 10 retail banks and nine of the top 10 auto makers.

Acxiom has used the IBM solution to double its virtualisation capacity, and dropped its software licensing costs. The company's CIO David Guzman noted that IBM has allowed it to double its virtualisation capacity, and reduced its software licensing costs.

"The price/performance equation is extraordinarily compelling, with five times the performance at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, there is a positive impact on all of the other key components of IT cost--space, power, labour, maintenance. The concrete results of this next generation machine are exciting, and the roadmap has 'knock-your-socks-off' vision."

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Anuradha Shukla

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