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Keep On Truckin'

I really keep waiting for IBM to get around one of these days to licensing the late, great Eddie Kendricks's "Keep On Truckin'" for an ad campaign. Remember that mid-'70s solo smash from the Temptations singer, and the explosion of license plates with the funky steppin' dude that it spawned?
Of course, IBM would lose the lines about getting back to his baby and all that and just use the main line, because that's essentially what it's doing in the server market. Yesterday, Big Blue rolled out yet another batch of System x and BladeCenter products down in New York City, and also previewed some of its "Cool Blue" power reduction technology, which will be pretty much standard on new IBM server equipment down the road. It's also standardized the instruction set for its Power family of proprietary processors, which will likely turn out to be a key move in letting that important part of IBM's legacy business continue to thrive.

IBM seems impervious to the various happenings in the server space. While Intel and AMD claw for single-percentage gains in market share, Microsoft figures out how to either do battle with Linux or try to subsume it, and a host of companies vie for your attention everywhere from hardware to system management packages to cooling schemes, IBM just continues to develop its various lines--BladeCenter in particular--into an all-encompassing platform with a soup-to-nuts strategy behind it. As with any big dog, its offerings aren't the cheapest. But any server manager could be forgiven for asking himself or herself, "Why deal with all of these other issues when I can use one vendor and have everything taken care of?" And it's notable that IBM continues its focus on specific business segments when developing servers, an approach no other company I can think of has mastered at the same level. IBM is the kind of big company that can't always quickly turn its big ship hard-around, but when it's steaming ahead at full speed like this, I'd hate to be competing with it.