IBM’s New Linux Box Combines the Best of Watson + Open Source

IBM just pulled the curtains back on the PowerLinux 7R4, an open system that sports a scaled-down version of Watson’s brain.

The 7R4 is a four socket, 32 core server designed for analytics, cognitive computing, web-scale applications and other CPU-intensive workloads that typically run in Linux environments. The system is available with IBM’s AIX and i operating systems, as well as Red Hat and SUSE.

Big Blue touts that its new server doesn’t limit customers to expensive Oracle databases. The 7R4 offers native support for EnterpiseDB’s increasingly popular PostgreSQL software, and includes virtualization tools that enable users to partition a single server into separate virtual servers. It also features Linux-optimized versions of IBM’s Cognos Business Intelligence analytics engine and WebSphere integration framework.

“We are providing our clients with a platform that offers an incredible amount of choice,” said Robert Swann, the Vice President and Business Line Executive for IBM’s Power Systems group. “For our clients fully committed to a Linux-only environment, we now offer three PowerLinux servers, and for our customers that seek to run Linux applications alongside their existing AIX or IBM i data and workloads, we provide the virtualization tools that make that possible. We stand ready to deliver whatever solution serves the customer best.”

The 7R4 takes after the zBC12, IBM’s newest zEnterprise mainframe. The $75,000 box comes with a 4.2 GHz processor and twice the available memory of its predecessor, the z114. Customers have a choice between three operating systems, including Linux for System z, z/OS and z/VM, a mainframe hypervisor that doubles as an OS. According to Wikibon editor Bert Latamore, the zBC12 targets medium to enterprise scale companies.