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IBM's new iDataPlex challenges traditional server formats

IBM has added a new range of hardware to its System X family under the "Internet-Scale computing" banner; the iDataplex is geared towards Web 2.0 companies but will certainly be useful for firms looking to cut costs.

The iDataplex system takes a radical step and rather than just downsizing the 1U format servers, it came up a whole new ecosystem of low power, high performance servers destined to equipped the booming cloud computing market.

IBM allows customers to choose from 22 different motherboard designs with an overwhelming number of combinations (memory, microprocessor, PCI slot, memory and storage options).

Big Blue Claims that the iDataplex will use 40 percent less power than a similar server configuration from other brands thanks to some smart designs; the iDataplex for example is not only smaller than the 1U pizza box but has had excess flab cut out (see photo).

The server design also allows it to be more efficiently cooled: IBM mentions that an iDataplex rack containing up to 100u of servers, chassis, switches, power distribution units, management appliances and heat exchangers can be fitted with a liquid cooled wall on the back of the system, cutting the need of expensive air conditioning.

Yahoo and the Texas Tech University are amongst the first IBM iDataplex customers; the server will initially come with Intel Xeon processors and may house AMD and IBM's own PowerPC processors if there's demand for them.

The iDataplex will be on sale in the North American in June and worldwide by the end of the year.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.