Linux Server Consolidation a-go-go

Linux Consolidation

This week saw the announcement of some interesting Power based Linux consolidation opportunities. With the Power processor clearly out-front in the performance stakes, and Advanced Power Virtualization out-front in UNIX virtualization technologies it was great to hear Scott Handy roll out some great Linux consolidation numbers for the new IBM System p Power5 based server offerings.

What Scott announced was that the high-end p5 560Q can support the consolidation of 320 x86-based Linux LAMP applications onto just one rack of eight of the new servers. Specifically the comparison is with eight racks of 320 1U Dell PowerEdge® 860 servers. Replacing these Dell servers with System p5 560Q servers in this scenario could result in these potential savings:

  • Reduced floor space by an estimated 87%
  • Reduced power consumption by an estimated 66%
  • Reduced total cost of acquisition by up to 50%

The IBM 560Q 320 has a lower total cost of acquisition as well. You could make similar comparisons with other servers, remembering that while many have virtiualization, none have anything nearly as robust and dynamic as APV. You can see one of the 560Q servers here.

Not much to it really… little box, big impact and feature the new POWER5+ Quad Core Module (QCM) processor running at 1.8 GHz! You can read the full specs here. In the Power based BladeCenter JS21 customers can consolidate upto 168 Linux x86 web servers servers onto just one BladeCenter Chassis with 14 blades.

For small businesses, and enterprises with a consolidation need for say 12 or fewer x86 Linux servers, using just one or two of the JS21 blades and Advanced Power Virtualization might do the job. If you have existing BladeCenter based servers with space, this could be right up your street as they can be installed and run alongside.

Finally, a complimentary white paper and server consolidation opportunities is available, it covers Linux server consolidation on the IBM System p platform through flexible Micro-Partitioning technology with the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9 SP3 operating system. Server Consolidation Using Advanced POWER Virtualization and Linux.

Get expert server consolidation support: Introducing the IBM Server Consolidation Factory for System p.

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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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