IBM outfits blade servers with cheap middleware for the masses

Websphere in a box


Trying to drive blade servers down market, IBM has created new packages of its software and the compact servers aimed at small- to medium-sized businesses.

IBM today announced this "Business-in-a-Box" idea that pairs its wide range of lower-priced Express middleware with its BladeCenter chassis and servers. Hoping to make life easier on customers, IBM has pre-tested the software with the blade servers, meaning users can simply slide a new blade into their racks and quickly get an application up and running. IBM has certified a wide range of software such as IBM Workplace Services Express, Express Runtime, WebSphere Business Integration Server Express and WebSphere Portal Express to run on its HS20 Xeon-based server.

"We have created customized 'business-in-a-box' solutions that combine the industry's best hardware and software for SMB clients to reach new levels of innovation and growth," said IBM, vice president, Elaine Lennox.

Lennox's plug, however, is far less impressive than that of IBM customers Rob Meyer, director of internet services at Anaconda Sports, who was highlighted in an IBM press release announcing the blade/software package.

"Prior to our blade-powered e-hosting site, we were busy answering complaints, handling emergencies, and performing wasteful manual tasks to get orders out," Meyer said.

It turns out that Meyer and Anaconda Sports have really had a tough time with their IT infrastructure over the past few years.

Back in 2003, for example, Anaconda was also struggling to get orders out. "At three in the afternoon, you could place an order online and go out and eat a sandwich and a Web page would still be loading. It was ridiculously slow - we just couldn’t handle the traffic," Meyer said in this IBM case study. Anaconda went on to lose 10 percent of its sales due to the "sluggish" web site. In addition, it took Anaconda two days "to print a customer’s order, verify the credit card number, check inventory and re-enter the data for shipping."

The solution? Move to WebSphere and DB2.

And now, two years later, we find Anaconda moving to yet another IBM platform to speed up the very same manual tasks that haunted it before. You can read all about Anaconda's relationship with IBM here.

IBM has been pushing its Express packages for some time now. They are lower-cost versions of IBM's middleware and database products aimed at smaller businesses. Packaging this software with the blade servers is a nice attack against similar products from the likes of Microsoft and Oracle. IBM clearly has a potential edge with the hardware pricing that its software-only rivals can't match.

Ever vague about pricing on new products, IBM provided the following for the software/blade packages, "Pricing starts at $120 per month for a portal server that can handle 20 users, or $160 per month for a business integration server that can handle up to 1,000 catalog entries. List prices for the solution building blocks will typically range from $4,500 to $9,000 for customers interested in incrementally expanding or growing an existing solution."

Customers in the US and Canada can contact IBM partner AVNET about these packages now and then ring Agilysys starting June 1.®

Related stories

IBM server team calls HP 'clueless' and says Unisys's 'days are numbered'
Bashful IBM takes orders for Opteron blade server
Barcelona boots Europe's most powerful supercomputer
HP, Sun and IBM ready to roll with dual-core Opteron gear
Big Blue goes after the little guy
HP and Intel hire Asian helpers to make Itanium cheap
Egenera freshens blades with a touch of Opteron


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021