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Server Specs: IBM pushes out System p server with Power 5+ chip

IBM pushes out System p server with Power 5+ chip; HP buys Mercury to boost SOA capabilities; Sun's revenue exceeds expectations amid massive job cuts.

IBM pushes out System p server with Power 5+ chip

IBM will have new System p servers available in August that incorporate the Power 5+ chip and boast of better performance and more transactions per minute.

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The 64-way p5 595 will start at $775,000 and the 32-way p5 590 at about $400,000; both will be available Aug. 11. Jeff Howard, IBM director of System p, said the new servers will run at speeds of 2.3 GHz and 2.1 GHz, as opposed to 1.9 GHz with its predecessor. The new p5 595 is also capable of performing 4 million transactions per second, an uptick from 3.2 million transactions per second with its predecessor.

In an interview Friday, Howard compared the System 595 to HP's 64-core Integrity Superdome using the new Intel Itanium chips, saying performance on the p5 595 is "still a generation or two ahead of them in performance."

Howard added that the servers will also be upgradeable to the Power6 chip, expected out late next year.

At the same time, IBM announced that the Tivoli Usage and Accounting Manager will be available on the new machines. The systems management software tells the data center manager who is using what resources when, and how much, to help them organize IT resources accordingly.

HP buys Mercury to boost SOA capabilities

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has agreed to buy software company Mercury Interactive Corp. to improve its application management and service-oriented architecture (SOA) portfolio.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP announced yesterday that it was paying $4.5 billion for Mountain View, Calif.-based Mercury. The move combines HP's OpenView network and service management software with Mercury's products in application management, IT governance and SOA governance. The acquisition is expected to increase HP's software business to $2 billion in annual revenue.

Mercury acquired SOA governance company Systinet in January 2006, which may have made Mercury itself an attractive proposition for HP. The acquisition may help HP challenge IBM's SOA offerings.

Sun's revenue exceeds expectations amid massive job cuts

Sun Microsystems Inc. said yesterday that its revenues exceeded expectations during a fiscal quarter when 4,000-5,000 job cuts were announced.

The Santa Clara, Calif. company has marked the last year with an expansion of its x86 servers and the promotion of its Solaris operating system.

Revenues for the most recent quarter were about $3.8 billion, a 29% jump compared to the same fiscal quarter last year. But the company suffered a net loss of $301 million during this most recent fiscal quarter, largely due to restructuring charges associated with the job cuts.

The company saw its server shipments grow 14% and its x86 servers jump 53%, but much of that is attributable to the company starting from a smaller base. Sun hopes to continue the momentum into the next quarter due to its recent announcement of a trio of systems, including blade servers and a data storage server.

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