IBM debuts iDataPlex servers

IBM has unveiled a new category of servers addressing the needs of organizations that use high-performance and Web 2.0 computing to operate massive data centers.

Data centers operated by financial institutions, government research laboratories and Internet companies are powered by tens of thousands of servers that consume significant amounts of energy and need air conditioning units to cool them. The growth of streaming video, online gaming, social networks and high-performance computing applications will require organizations and businesses to deploy even more pools of computers that will put a drain on energy resources, IBM officials said.

The IBM iDataPlex systems address the need for increased computing power and energy efficiency by applying technologies such as IBM's BladeCenter, the Linux operating system and cloud technologies to more than double the number of systems that can run in a single IBM rack.

For example, the iDataPlex can house as many as 84 servers in a rack, said Rajesh Sukhramani, a product manager at IBM Systems andTechnology Group. The iDataPlex would be ideally suited for government research labs that have large numbers of Linux servers connected by high-speed networks, Sukhramani said.

The system also eliminates the need for air conditioning in the data center. A water-cooled wall can be outfitted on the back of the system that lets it run at room temperature, he said.

Early users of the iDataPlex include Yahoo and Texas Tech University's High Performance Computing Center. Forterra Systems, a virtual-worlds company, is accessing an iDataPlex system at the IBM High Performance On Demand Solutions lab in San Jose, Calif., to test their applications in an IBM Cloud Center.

A team of third-party vendors are offering support for iDataPlex in their products. For instance, the new system supports the Avocent MergePoint 5300 Service Processor Manager, which automatically discovers embedded service processors and configures them based on administrator-set policies.

Other vendors that are a part of the iDataPlex ecosystem include Blade Network Technology, Devon IT, Force 10 Networks, Intel, QLogic and SMC Networks.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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