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IBM Pushes Server Partitioning

today launched a range of Unix servers based on its Power5 microprocessors -- chips that enable up to 10 virtual servers to reside in the same box (see IBM Launches Unix Servers).

The eServer p5 symmetric multiprocessing servers aim to help users consolidate applications onto fewer servers while improving system performance and administration.

The range includes models with two, four, or 16 microprocessors. Customers can choose whether to run IBMs own Unix operating system, AIX, or Linux operating systems from Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) or SuSE Inc.

A potential user of the new servers likes what he sees. ”I think it’s an option that we have got to look at,” says Ken Ebbe, assistant chief information officer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. "It gives you the ability to put multiple applications together and have them live on the same equipment. That would help with some of our consolidation efforts and ongoing support costs."

Jonathan Eunice, principal analyst at Illuminata Inc. thinks partitioning processors to create multiple virtual servers will catch on in a big way. ”These very refined partitions will change the way that companies deploy their hardware and applications,” he says. "Partitioning will become a workaday reality."

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