IBM will begin rolling out a family of Intel Ivy Bridge-equipped versions of its M4 server expected to reduce data centre power costs and offer entry level virtualisation servers.

The availability dates of Xeon V2 processors in M4 devices vary, with the 1u x3250, 2u x3530 and x3630 rack systems, as well as the x3100 mini-tower planned for release on May 31, while customers will have to wait until June 4 for an updated BladeCenter HS23E. IBM says the System x3100 M4 single-socket tower server is designed for small businesses and first-time buyers.

Most of the preconfigured FlexSystem server line will follow on June 14, with the exception of several ServeRAID M5100 products, which won't be released until August 13. The x3750 2U rack system will be available July 12.

Roland Hagan, vice president and business line executive for System x, said that IBM's wide variety of server offerings help it stand out from the pack.

"Unlike many of our competitors, IBM offers clients a range of solutions from economical infrastructure, to performance optimised solutions, to expert integrated systems to help any size enterprise address its top business challenges," he asserted.

IBM's announcement is the not the first to detail the integration of the Ivy Bridge architecture into mainline server products, as Dell confirmed a week ago that it, too, would bring the new processor technology to its business customers.

While Ivy Bridge does not provide a meteoric performance gain compared to previous-generation Intel architectures, its ability to reduce energy usage may quickly make it a favourite in the data centre.

Intel has stated the Ivy Bridge chips will outperform existing processors. The chips will include 3D transistors and will be made using the new 22nm manufacturing process. Intel has claimed that 22nm 3D transistors will consume a little less than half the power and be 37% faster than its existing 32nm process chips, which have 2D transistors.