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IBM Readies AIX Consolidation Play

Consolidation of servers running IBM's AIX operating system on server blades based on the vendor's Power processors will be the next big opportunity for IBM partners, said Brian Conners, vice president of Linux on Power at IBM.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based vendor next month will begin shipping its JS20 server blades, priced at $2,699, and related rack/tower platforms to give solution providers the opportunity to consolidate AIX servers using the same processors currently used in AIX servers in a blade configuration.

Previously, solution providers looking to consolidate AIX servers were limited to running Linux on Intel-based server blades. The arrival of the JS20 blades means that solutions providers can run Intel and Power-based server blades alongside each other in the same system. It also allows them the option of running either Linux or AIX on the Power-based server blades, the company said.

Joe Vaught, COO of PCPC, an IBM solution provider in Houston, called the JS20 product offering "a big deal," which he expects to open up new markets for solution providers by allowing them to mix several different architecture types in the same system.

"This is hot," Vaught said. "This is the RISC 6000 chip, and it used to take up seven or eight inches in a rack. Now it takes up nothing. The customer can load his blades with Intel chips and now slap in a JS20 wherever he wants. We are looking at RISC chips and AIX and Microsoft all sitting on the same frame."

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