IBM accelerates server appliance push

Hoping to make life easier for larger IT shops piecing together an infrastructure for business-to-business applications, IBM is rolling out a handful of eServer appliances, including two specifically packaged for Web hosting.

The company will also roll out its first storage server appliance, capable of storing as much as 1.7TB of data and capable of transferring that data at 44MB/sec, along with what company officials believe is the industry's first Lotus Domino appliance that features IBM's Silicon-On-Insulator chip technology.

"With these announcements we are focusing on three key aspects of the market, including Web infrastructure, storage, and collaboration. Right now we believe they are the fastest growing parts of the market," said Brian Sanders, marketing manager for IBM's xSeries with IBM's software and solutions group.

The appliance server market, according to IBM officials, is growing at 50 per cent a year.

The Intel-based x130 and x135 Web hosting servers, which bundle Windows 2000 and Linux, respectively, are both based on the company's 1U (unit), 4cm (1.75in) thick rack mount design.

Both of these servers feature hot-swappable hard disk drives, integrated system management features, and several other capabilities that conform to IBM's X Architecture server blueprint.

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