Sixteen, count 'em, 16 Xeon MP chips now can be stuffed into IBM's Intel-based x440 server. IBM expects the 16-way x440, which starts at $100,000 bundled with Windows, to be used to consolidate servers; handle large DB2, Oracle, or SQL databases; and run multiple enterprise resource planning applications. The x440 is modular and scalable. IBM plans a kit for eight-way x440 servers that includes a second eight-way x440 and cabling to connect the two.
Unisys Corp. is the only other major vendor selling a 16-way server. Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff says there's a good argument for the machines: They offer common environments for Windows apps, ensuring interoperability of tools and skills. Still, he says, "you don't need one big Windows server" for most apps.