IBM Readies New X3 Server; Dual-core Workstation

IBM says it will ship next month a new four-processor Xeon server based on the company’s new X3 computing architecture as well as a new workstation built around Intel’s dual-core Pentium D.

The eServer xSeries 260 (x260), which is designed to be used in remote office locations or in storage-intensive applications, is built on Intel’s 64-bit Xeon MP CPUs.

Introduced in February, the X3 Architecture was the result of a three-year, one $100-million development effort to bring mainframe-inspired capabilities to Big Blue’s Intel-based server line, according to IBM.

At the time, IBM delivered a chipset to support X3 as well as the first server to support Intel’s dual-core Xeon processors -- the xSeries 366. In June, IBM introduced the second in the X3 line, the x460, which starts as a four-way server and scales up to 32 CPUs. The X3 Architecture is “dual-core” capable but customers are not limited to selecting only dual-core processors.

The x260 uses the same internal electronics as the rack-mountable version of the x366, according to IBM. The x260 will also be available in a tower configuration. It can run on standard 110-volt power in a fully redundant configuration.

Additionally, the 7U x260 server lets customers deploy it with up to twelve 3.5-inch, serial-attached SCSI hard disk drives for storage-intensive applications. It will support up to 300 GB per drive for a total of 3.6 TB of local storage. An optional Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape drive provides up to 800 GB of internal tape backup capacity.

According to IBM, the x260 is designed to meet the needs of remote or branch locations of hotels, banks and retail operations that need large amounts of internal storage and local backup for critical business information.

The new IntelliStation M Pro uses a 64-bit, dual-core Intel Pentium D and can support 8 GB of memory – twice that of its predecessor. It is the product of IBM having combined its IntelliStation and xSeries design teams, the company says. The IntelliStation line of workstations is designed for critical business operations, such as mechanical design, electronic design, drug analysis and digital content creation.

The IBM IntelliStation M Pro 6218 is set to ship in September at a starting price of $1,479. The M Pro will be available with Microsoft Windows XP Professional pre-loaded and is certified for 32- and 64-bit versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0. Graphics options for the M Pro range from multi-monitor capable 2D cards to extreme 3D cards from ATI, Nvidia and 3DLabs.

The IBM eServer xSeries 260 starts at $4,599, and is set to ship in mid-September. It supports 64-bit operating systems from Microsoft, Red Hat and Novell.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.