IBM rebadges entire server range

In an attempt to simplify and position its server offerings around building "e-businesses", IBM has rebadged its entire server range.

From this point on, Big Blue's servers will fall into one of four "eServer" classesn -high-end zSeries - based on IBM's legacy S/360 and S/390 serversn -pSeries - formerly its Unix RS6000sn iSeries - formerly AS/400sn -xSeries - formerly IBM's Netfinity range.

The announcement has been three years in the planning according to IBM officials, and signals the vendor's corporate adoption of Linux open platforms.

Still glowing from IBM's recent sponsorship of the official Olympics Web site, which saw IBM expectations of six billion hits explode to over 11 billion, IBM's vice president, Enterprise Group, Dan Bennewitz, claims the new branding strategy brings hardware, software, services and financing under the one umbrella.

IBM is touting big things from its new-look eServer series and Bennewitz claims the zSeries servers, z standing for zero down-time, are the first mainframes built with e-business as their primary function. The flagship zSeries 900 uses IBM's new 64-bit operating system, zOS, and is designed to handle fluctuating transaction traffic by shifting processing power within the server to applications that need it.

In conjunction with the rebadging, IBM's eServers will be bundled with IBM's WebSphere software products, according to Steve McWhirter, director of IBM's Software Group Australia/NZ. The pre-installed software features technology such as capacity upgrade on demand (CUoD), which activates additional pre-installed CPU capacity or additional servers on request.

As a result, IBM will be restructuring its payment policy to accommodate a pay-as-you-use model designed to enable users to pay for their average software usage, rather than their peak usage. And according to IBM officials, new financing options will also be available.

Karen Steidle, vice president, Enterprise Systems Group, IBM Australia/NZ, said it will be "business as usual" for its reseller channel, and will continue to support previous IBM servers - "investment protection still remains", she said. However, it remains to be seen how the channel will react.

To support the rebranding of its servers, IBM has announced an eServer Web portal designed for customer support and product information.

New eServer products will begin shipping as early as this quarter said a statement released by the company.

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