The Comeback Kernel
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You see, IBM has led in the overall server market for several years running (i.e., in mainframes, Intel, UNIX, etc.), but when calling out UNIX separately, IBM typically trailed key competitors out West. Why the leapfrog now?
Well, aside from a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from our Systems and Technology team, we would submit to you that IBM's long-awaited ascension to the top of the server heap has been fueled significantly by our investment in the "Power" microprocessor architecture. The Power "cell" architecture is the very same technology that will be powering the next generation of gaming consoles (the Xbox 360, the Sony PS-3, etc.), and is expected to provide developers a stable and accessible platform for developing next generation gaming titles. But this isn't all about fun and games.
The Cell architecture also will be used extensively in business and government as we work to help companies build on demand business applications in supercomputing applications, 3D modeling, streaming media optimization, and similar applications -- which require significant processing and throughput.
Our pSeries servers in particular can also help "power" those environments which demand 24x7 availability, and can accommodate fluctuating demand where there are often high-volume peaks. Think Amazon.Com the day after Thanksgiving when everybody decides to go shopping online at once, or the U.S. Open Web site during an Andre Agassi finals match (we'll be talking at more length about the role that IBM technology plays in supporting the U.S. Open as the tournament kicks off this week in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.).
Most importantly, this architecture and these UNIX servers help support our customers who need to have maximum utilization and cannot afford to have key systems down for any extended period of time (i.e., they're banking their businesses on them).
Check out some of our pSeries case studies to read some real world examples of the power behind Power.