IBM chips in with 'hot plug' technology

Technology with 'hot plug' functionality is the new buzz phrase around Big Blue.

IBM Australia revealed this technology, along with memory mirroring and active memory as key components of its evolving Summit Project.

Several features of the project will be included in a new machine set for release during the second half of this year.

Peter Hedges, eServer xSeries senior product specialist for IBM Australia and New Zealand, described the new technology being worked on in the plan as a "set of features for the core chip set; as chips tie everything together".

Hedges said the memory mirroring technology would include RAID-1 for memory. "So if memory fails it does not matter, there is bulletproof availability."

"Active memory means IT teams will be able to dynamically replace memory. So if a critical failure is sustained [in a server] it can be fixed on the fly."

Hedges said this is where the 'hot plug' technology will come into its own. Memory will be able to be 'hot' added and replaced. "There will be no need to shut down the server to insert memory and [the machine] will recognise the memory straight away."

Looking to the future, IBM is working on 'hot plug' CPUs. Hedges maintained there is a lot of work to do before this will be available, but "it is coming".

IBM has also announced that it is bringing its high-end AIX clustering software, referred to as Blue Hammer, over to work under Linux.

By building AIX-based clustering capabilities - such as managing large clusters from a single point of control - into Linux, IBM hopes to eventually make it easier for its larger customers to seamlessly mix and match Unix and Linux clusters.

This ability, company officials believe, will give corporate IT shops more confidence to deploy Linux for mission-critical applications.

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