The following is the text of an IBM Enterprise Systems Group press release distributed on October 3, 2000.
IBM today unveiled the IBM eServer zSeries 900, the first mainframe built from scratch with e-business as its primary function. The reinvented mainframe is built to handle the unpredictable demands of e-business, allowing thousands of servers to operate within one box. Along with the new design, IBM is also introducing its new 64-bit operating system, z/OS, as well as new software pricing. Software fees will be based on need rather than total system capacity, providing customers the flexibility to pay for what they use in an e-business world that is characterized by highly volatile swings in demand.
The z900 and z/OS are the result of a $1 billion, two-year effort to specifically address the needs of businesses in the age of e-commerce. The first in a new class of e-business servers, the system, which works hand-in-hand with z/OS -- the z900's flagship operating system -- is designed for high speed connectivity to the network and to storage systems, scalability in the face of unpredictable spikes in workload or traffic, and near zero downtime when clustered. The z900 will allow customers to push performance and connectivity to the outer limits without any concessions to reliability and security.
"The z900 knows what you need before you do," said Dan Colby, general manager, Enterprise Servers, IBM. "It has an amazing capacity to manage itself and that adds a whole new dimension to mainframe computing. Along with the qualities that everyone expects of the mainframe, we're adding features that make this box a very cost effective and smart choice."
The only server capable of dynamically shifting workloads in the server and the network according to priorities set by the customer, the z900 addresses one of the greatest e-business challenges facing companies -- efficiently and robustly managing unpredictable resource requirements. Functioning like thousands of servers within the server, resources shift automatically to the applications that need them. On most servers these adjustments must be made manually or are limited to a single logical or even physical partition. In addition, the z900 has self-healing capabilities. It continuously monitors itself and can automatically detect and correct errors, allowing applications to run without interruption.
"In the z900 the juice goes to the application that needs it," said Tony Befi, vice president, technology, Enterprise Servers, IBM. "The virtual servers within the z900 can breathe, expanding and contracting dynamically. The hottest applications get the resources they need when they need them."
The ability to run thousands of virtual servers within one physical box makes the z900 the ideal platform for e-business-intensive operations like application service providers, Internet service providers and technology hosting companies. These types of companies must be equipped to manage and keep separate their own customers' individual workloads and requirements. In the past, this has required a large number of servers and a huge investment in real estate. Now, however, these customers can save by using one z900 to do the same job, replacing a football field full of Sun or HP servers.
The z900 and z/OS utilizing 64-bit technology represent a revolution in pricing and marketplace customer service. The new software licensing capabilities of the z900 and z/OS are receiving support from such industry leaders as BMC Software, Candle, Computer Associates, Compuware, Isogon, SAGA and Software AG, as well as many other independent software vendors. These capabilities allow customers the ability to add system capacity and grow without necessarily being charged more. Instead software can be licensed based on need. The z900 and z/OS provide customers the technologies that enable software pricing based on less than the total capacity of the server. IBM's new pricing provides much-needed granularity and will allow users to control and predict their costs more efficiently.
Leading CRM and ERP software providers such as PeopleSoft, SAP and Siebel have recognized the e-business potential built into the z900 and have committed to support the platform with crucial e-commerce applications. Other top e-business software companies, including Lawson, IMI, Temenos and Trilogy, are also supporting the z900. In keeping with IBM's embrace of the Linux operating system, thousands of Linux applications will run on the z900, making the server's built-in strengths accessible to Linux programmers with little traditional mainframe training. Rogue Wave Software and Rational Software are among the new software companies announcing specific Linux products for the z900.
With the introduction of the z900, IBM is also introducing a new level of mainframe customer service, making greater use of the Internet than ever before. The z900 can literally "phone home" periodically -- automatically monitoring and maintaining itself through the Internet by dialing up and checking in with an IBM technology center at specified times. In addition, customers can upgrade hardware and software capacity on the fly with a click of the mouse.
The heart of the z900 is the IBM multichip module (MCM) -- the densest, most advanced semiconductor and packaging technology in the world. The 5" x 5" x 1/4" module contains 35 chips mounted on 101 layers of ceramic glass connected to 4,226 I/0 pins by 1 kilometer of wire. The module uses IBM's leading-edge copper technology and contains 2.5 billion transistors. Designed and manufactured by IBM's world-class chip developers, this leading-edge technology provides significant advantages in performance, power consumption and reliability.
The z900 reaches unprecedented levels in capacity and security, including:
The IBM eServer zSeries 900 will be available on December 18, 2000.
- Greater than 2,500 MIPs on 16 processors -- Unix competitors claim they can match this but none of their servers have been designed to run multiple workloads on the same server all at once. Clustered, the z900 can handle up to 9 billion transactions/day (300 million transactions/day stand alone).
- 24GB/second of 110 bandwidth -- G6 had 8GB/second and Sun has 6.4GB/second. The bandwidth has been tripled to accommodate applications that require huge I/O bandwidth to process the large number of transactions and inquiries driven by the Internet.
- FICON enhancements -- offers native FICON attachment to Magstar tape storage that enhances performance, distance and sharing capabilities for networked storage. It also features FICON directors for Magstar tape and the IBM Enterprise Storage Server.
- Enhanced Capacity on Demand capabilities -- scales effortlessly from 1-way to 16-way processor capability on the fly and without disruption.
- 2,000 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) transactions/second -- the best Sun claims is 125 SSL/second. SSL transactions -- those that cause the "locked" padlock icon to appear at the bottom of browsers -- are crucial to e-business transactions, enabling companies to securely process orders on-line. The ability to process greater numbers of SSL transactions means businesses can serve more customers and make more sales in less time.
- New HiperSocket technology -- provides high speed TCP/IP connectivity between virtual servers within a single z900, creating a network in a box.