The iSeries Blog

Feb 19 2008   1:07PM GMT

What’s the point of the System i blade?

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

That is the question many System i users out there are asking. As you can see from some comments last year, some were looking forward to i5 blades, and some were not.

A familiar misgiving is that many of the smaller System i shops aren’t that worried about the space constraints that a smaller form factor like blades can help solve. They’re usually running one box in production and maybe a second for DR, and that’s it. Buying the expensive BladeCenter chassis might not make sense for them.

Those that might take to it are the more heterogenous shops that are running System i along with a lot of x86 servers in their data center. Being able to combine all that processing power into one blade chassis could save them space and possibly help the System i server(s) communicate with the x86 ones, especially if they’re System x.

When the i5/OS blade becomes available next month, look for IBM to recommend configurations to business partners that involve an overall blade server strategy that includes System i and rids users of older System i standalone hardware.

But there is another issue: Is the JS22 blade that i5/OS will run on too big for some customers? The answer may be yes, and software costs might end up being a deterrent. The JS22 is a two-socket blade that has four Power6 processing cores. That’s more horsepower than some System i applications may need, and thus some users might get stuck paying for a software licensing tier that’s over and above what they want.

In addition to that, the i5/OS blade is about 20% more expensive than either the equivalent AIX or Linux blade ($7,436 compared to $6,129) .

3  Comments on this Post

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  • Craig Welch
    We are running SAP on our iSeries. We currently have an i570 that is nearing capacity on all 16 processors. I was toying with the idea of perhaps using a blade to run our SAP Portals on which I believe would keep us "legal" for replicating w/Mimix the Blade LPAR w/o purchasing more licenses. I'm thinking that SAP Portals likes a lot of memory and CPU but I think I'd be lucky to fully utilize 2 of the 4 cores with a limitation of 32 GB ram. Question - does a blade raise your P rating on the i570? I'd like to hear feedback about if this sounds reasonable or if you have other ideas that might make more sense. I'm not optimistic about the announcements including a 20-way Power6 i570.
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  • psu calculator
    "We are running SAP on our iSeries. We currently have an i570 that is nearing capacity on all 16 processors." Same here, and our IT is setting up blade server as we speak!
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  • tim messink
    What about the JS22 and storage?, it is my understanding that the JS22 has SAN storage and currently the way the Iseries would see the storage is via the LUNDs, one drive arm per LUND. as far as query goes, if disk arms are busy, performance will drop. With only 32 available, this will be a concern. Additionally, theonly SANs that work are IBM DS4XXX and DS8xxx, which are costly..
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