IBM bets on Power 6, AIX and virtualisation trinity

IBM bets on Power 6, AIX and virtualisation trinity

Big Blue aiming for further market share growth

IBM is scheduled to release a new blade server on Tuesday that is the first to run the Power6 processor.

Big Blue aims for the new blade to help it grow its market share in the Unix market.

Other players in the segment include Itanium on HP-UX systems from HP and servers from Sun Microsystems running Solaris on Sparc processors, including the Niagara chip.

Even though revenue growth in the Unix segment is largely flat, many mission critical applications at large enterprises were originally designed for such systems, and continue to rely on them.

The Unix segment today makes up about one third of the overall server market. IBM claims that it has been gaining market share for the past five years.

The release of the new Power6 blades will be followed closely by general availability of AIX version 6 on 9 November and the release of Advanced Power Virtualization Enterprise Edition on 16 November.

The latter allows firms to migrate operating systems or applications while they are running.

The technology can offer power savings by allowing applications that normally require 10 servers during regular production to be consolidated on a single machine during the night, Scott Handy, vice president of marketing and strategy for IBM Power Systems, argued at a meeting at the firm's San Francisco office.

IT staff also will be able to perform maintenance on mission critical servers during the day. Such tasks currently have to be performed at night or over the weekend to minimise the impact on the business.

HP or Sun Microsystems do not currently offer similar features on their Unix servers.

Charles King, a principal analyst with Pund-IT, argued that the virtualisation technology is one of IBM's key differentiators and projected that it will find "great interest in the enterprise".