Adding to the Family

IBM announces two new System i Express models—the 515 and the 525

IBM announces two new System i Express models—the 515 and the 525
Server photos courtesy of IBM

Note: This article has been updated to reflect IBM's recent pricing-structure change.

IBM announces two new System i Express models

You may have just heard the buzz from COMMON and PartnerWorld about IBM's two new systems offerings in the IBM* System i* Express family. Formally announced April 10, the introduction of the System i5 515 and System i5 525 represented a new era in how IBM brings products to the market. These new entry-level systems feature i5/OS* licensing by user and simpler yet flexible options, positioning the IBM System i platform to compete against Microsoft* Windows* technology-based servers in the small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) arena.

In the wake of this exciting announcement, IBM Systems Magazine, i5 Business Systems edition talked with Guy Paradise, System i SMB offerings manager, to find out more about the new systems and why this announcement is so groundbreaking.

Q: What can you tell me about the System i Express announcement?

A: The System i Express announcement that we made in April provides an entirely new approach to buying our systems for small and mid-sized companies. It's a major component of our overall System i strategy for 2007, which is to attract new customers to the platform with competitive solutions for small and mid-sized companies in markets around the world. We announced two new models: the System i5 515 for small companies and the System i5 525 for mid-sized companies. They are both available now.

Q: What's the difference between the 515 and 525?

A: They're both based on our latest 1.9 GHz POWER5+* technology, but the 515 is specifically optimized for small businesses, whereas the 525 is featured for mid-sized companies. On average, our smaller customers have approximately four to six disks, and the 515 can have up to eight disks, all in the system unit. The 515 was designed to support up to 40 concurrently authenticated users for even the most demanding applications.

The 525, on the other hand, supports I/O towers and drawers to give mid-sized companies the expansion options they need for supporting a larger number of users. We've really tried very hard to keep the 515 buying experience as simple as possible. And to keep it simple, we've given the 515 the options a small business needs, while keeping away from some of the more complicated options. That's why we've kept the more complicated options like I/O towers and drawers for the 525.

Q: How do the new systems perform with Web-based applications?

A: The new systems take full advantage of the POWER5+ technology, so they're ideal for the new generation of compute-intensive applications that like fast processors with on-board L3 cache. That fits very well with the way our ISVs have adapted their solutions over time. Of course, many of them rely of the value of RPG applications, with its exceptional efficiency for transaction processing. But at the same time, many ISVs have adopted Java* and Web-based technologies to complement their traditional application suites. Most importantly, the new systems can run both types of application together.

Q: How do 5250 applications work on these new systems?

A: You no longer need to worry whether or not your application uses 5250 on the new 515 and 525 systems. You get the full capability of the 1.9GHz POWER5+ processor for all your applications.

Tami Deedrick is the former managing editor of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition.



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