IBM unveils virtualization platform for SMBs

IBM offers inexpensive virtual software for small and midsize companies, migrates Linux workloads.

IBM Tuesday introduced a virtualization platform Big Blue says will help small and midsize customers consolidate server capacity and increase resource utilization.

Priced at just US$40 per core, PowerVM Express software enables customers to create three virtual server partitions per physical server and works with AIX, Linux and i5/OS, IBM's System i operating system. The software includes a feature that enables System p servers to run Linux x86 binary applications, which IBM says will help customers consolidate Unix and Linux workloads on System p servers. The technology, PowerVM Lx86, lets customers create a virtual environment to run x86 Linux applications on a System p server with a Linux on Power operating system.

"This technology allows Linux that would run on Intel and AMD servers to run on a Power server," said Scott Handy, vice president of marketing and strategy of IBM Power Systems, on a press conference call.

IBM also updated PowerVM technologies for larger environments. Formerly known as Advanced Power Virtualization (APV), PowerVM software is also available in Standard and Enterprise Editions. Standard Edition enables customers to create 10 virtual server images per core processor and adds support for multiple shared processor pools. The Enterprise Edition includes all the features of the standard offering as well as a virtualization feature that enables a Power6 processor-based server to move the "entire operating system and its workloads from one server to another while the systems are running," IBM says.

PowerVM Express is priced at US$40 per core; the standard edition costs about US$800 per core; and the enterprise version costs US$1,500 per core. IBM says the live partition capability is available now, and other software upgrades are scheduled to become available in February.

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