IBM consolidates Intel, Unix workstations

Consolidating both its Intel-based and RISC-based workstations under a single brand, IBM Corp. on Tuesday announced a unified line of IntelliStation workstations.

In the same way that IBM recently re-named its line of server products, such as X-Series and Z-Series, to simplify customer choice, Big Blue will now offer workstations running IBM’s AIX Unix operating system on the company’s Power processors under the same brand as its Intel-based workstations running Windows or Linux.

“We put all of our workstation technologies together in one product family and organized our field efforts and our customer-facing efforts around a combination of these technologies, so we don’t have our people arguing about what products to sell the customer but rather we have all of our people focusing on what’s the customer’s needs,” said John Holz, vice-president of IBM workstations, in Armonk, N.Y.

Workstations are high-end PC-style systems with added processor and graphics horsepower for advanced design tasks, scientific and financial computations, and graphics applications.

With the re-branding, IBM launched an IntelliStation Power Model, a Unix-based system available with one or two 450MHz 64-bit Power3 chips, up to 8GB of memory, and either an IBM GXT6500P or GXT4500P graphics card.

IBM also introduced three Intel-based workstations, a low-end IntelliStation E Pro 6204, a mid-range M Pro 6229, and a high-end M Pro 6850. The Intel-based systems come equipped with either a Pentium 4 or Xeon chip running at 2.2GHz along with a 512KB of Level 2 cache.

With Tuesday’s re-branding and product launch, IBM is aiming for a greater share of the workstation market from competitors such as Sun Microsystems Inc., Silicon Graphics Inc., and Dell Computer Corp., according to Holz.

IBM Canada in Markham, Ont., is at