IBM releases new Power7 servers for mid-market

IBM Corp. has released new Power7-based 700-series servers primarily for the mid-market, including one high-end and four low-end servers. The servers are essentially “book-ends for our (700-series) portfolio,” said one executive with the Armonk, NY-based company.

The high-end Power 795 server affords customers scalability, energy-efficiency, support for large workloads, and saves on data centre space, said Steve Sibley, IBM’s worldwide Power Systems platform marketing manager based in Austin, Tx.

On the lower-end, IBM released four servers: Power 710, 720, 730 and 740 Express.

While the new systems are targeted primarily at mid-market customers, Sibley said certain large enterprises will also find value in products.

“That’s really giving our clients the ability to leverage the Power7 technology,” said Sibley. “For smaller clients who want the performance and the scalability and resiliency … or even large enterprises with distributed environments or workloads.”Nominate someone you work with for a ComputerWorld Canada IT Leadership Award
But the new lower-end systems are really about helping mid-market organizations leverage their IT infrastructure to deploy new services and “to capitalize on almost large enterprise computing capabilities as they deploy new applications,” said Sibley.

IBM also released a Power7 processor-based Smart Analytics System for real-time analytics of large amounts of data. Based on Power 740 Express and new technologies like solid state Flash drives, Sibley said the analytics system has greater capacity and performance.

The announcement follows IBM’s February unveiling of its Power7 chip and Power 755 Express as well as 770 and 780, which Sibley said “have done very well” since the launch.

One customer of IBM’s Power Systems line is GHY International, a Winnipeg-based customs brokerage services vendor that uses the technology to run AIX, IBM i and Linux operating environments. The company’s vice-president of information technology Nigel Fortlage said that sort of flexibility allows him to run an entirely virtualized environment that includes VMware as well as IBM’s PowerVM.

Fortlage also said the energy efficiency capabilities are dramatic between Power7 and its predecessor Power5. “When I stood behind the Power5, I could blow dry my hair. And if I stood behind the Power7 it just gives me a warm breeze,” said Fortlage.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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