IBM and SAP continue to work more closely together in the business analytics market. The latest move involves integrated Power Systems for SAP HANA -- which are designed for analytics and transactional customers.

The spin? IBM claims commodity servers -- a polite jab at Intel x86 systems -- are "stretched to their limits" by new cloud and on-premises workloads. In stark contrast, IBM's Power Systems are "uniquely suited" to provide faster access to critical data, IBM claims.

IBM initially plans to ship two Power Systems configurations for SAP HANA; one for databases up to 512GB (compressed) in size; another for databases up to 1TB (compressed) in size. True believers include NTT Data and Ciber, each of which vowed to promote the offerings to their respective clientele. It sounds like the new IBM/SAP offerings are available immediately, though the official product announcement lacked an exact release date.

Most major IT vendors are striving to promote converged and/or tightly integrated hardware and software. The latest IBM/SAP move comes as EMC prepares to announce a range of big data and analytics efforts at this week's EMC World conference in Las Vegas.

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