The following is the text of an IBM Systems Group press release distributed on May 13, 2003.

IBM today introduced the world's most sophisticated server and announced that customers of all sizes will now be able to access the unprecedented capabilities of the IBM mainframe through new on demand services from IBM Global Services.

The IBM eServer zSeries 990, the new flagship of the eServer family, builds on the breakthrough technology of the eServer z900, which rewrote the rules for enterprise-class computing with fortress-like security, rock-solid reliability, and extreme performance in Linux virtualization and automation.

The new z990 is the result of a four-year, more than $1 billion investment in the zSeries platform involving 1,200 IBM developers.

The z990 sets a new standard for enterprise-class computing and will feature industry leadership in:

The z990 is the most powerful and scalable IBM mainframe in the 40-year history of the product, with twice the virtualization capabilities and the ability to do nearly three times the work of the z900, a new "building block" design that allows customers to plug in new capacity without taking the system down, and a dramatically simplified product structure that reduces the number of mainframe models from 42 to 4.

IBM also announced that IBM Global Services has begun deployment of the z990 in its On Demand Data Centers -- beginning in Boulder, Colorado -- providing new services for customers seeking mainframe computing power on demand. The new mainframe will serve as a cornerstone of the multi-platform centers, enabling customers of all sizes to acquire computing power and capacity on demand in new ways. IBM Global Services will offer mainframe capabilities, featuring technology from its Utility Management Infrastructure (UMI) service, which provides customers with fully-integrated infrastructure including mainframe processors, storage, networking and middleware.

"The IBM mainframe has long set the industry standard for server technology. This technology is critical to customers who rely on it to manage unpredictable, on demand environments where performance, security and reliability are so critical. Our new eServer z990 again raises the bar for our competitors who aspire to offer mainframe-class computing," said William Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Systems Group. "In addition, technologies born on the mainframe are influencing systems development and driving leadership performance across IBM's eServer family."

"The availability of mainframe on demand services marks a new era in data center delivery for our customers," said Jim Corgel, general manager, IBM e-business hosting services. "IBM's On Demand Data Centers are revolutionizing the way businesses large and small access technology, applications and computing resources. From these centers, IBM delivers unprecedented server processing power and storage capacity, while managing thousands of critical business applications for companies of all sizes."

Advanced technology & capabilities

The z990 will provide new levels of scalability, security and connectivity:

Redesigned multichip module

The heart of the z990 is the IBM multichip module (MCM) -- the densest, most advanced semiconductor and packaging technology in the world. The redesigned 3.7" x 3.7" x .75" module, which fits in the palm of your hand, contains 16 chips mounted on 101 layers of ceramic glass connected to over 5,000 I/O pins by 500 meters of wire. The new MCM is 50% smaller, enabling the z990 to deliver almost three times the processor capacity of the z900 in the same footprint. The module uses IBM's leading-edge copper and Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology and contains over 3.2 billion transistors. Designed and manufactured by IBM's world-class chip developers in Burlington, VT, this leading-edge technology provides significant advantages in performance, power consumption and reliability. In addition, the z990's new superscalar microprocessor design helps deliver up to 60% performance improvement for Linux, e-business and traditional workloads.

Business continuity solutions

IBM Systems Group also announced that IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (code-named "Shark") now features stand-by storage capacity on demand for the z990, which allows customers to effectively double their storage -- up to 7 Terabytes -- based on their business needs. In addition, IBM's flagship storage solution introduced FlashCopy v.2 and Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy v.2, which provide significantly enhanced data mirroring and business continuity functions for the z990.

Software integration

IBM will also deliver WebSphere Application Server for z/OS, v.5, featuring the latest support for J2EE and Web services standards as well as a new flexible pricing option. The development environment is also simpler as WebSphere for z/OS tools, which are based on the Eclipse open source tool integration platform, can be used to develop once and deploy to any WebSphere environment.

IBM also announced a beta program for its new version of DB2 Universal Database, specially tuned for the z990. With 100 new and enhanced features, it is the most significant new version of DB2 for the mainframe. The database is the first IBM software product designed to take advantage of new 64-bit z/OS addressing on the mainframe, which enables applications to run faster and supports larger and more complex data transactions. Other mainframe database enhancements include the ability to alter a database on the fly, without service disruption, and improved support for XML, SQL and Java. Enhanced SQL simplifies the porting of popular UNIX and Windows applications to DB2 on the mainframe.

In addition, IBM Tivoli Software is introducing a new suite of comprehensive systems management products designed to enhance z/OS and OS/390 operating environments. A new technology, Tivoli Management Portal, offers a single point of control to view performance information on an overall system to help enable users to ensure that an infrastructure is reliable, available and efficient. The improvements to the management of zSeries solutions are designed to help drive down the cost of ownership for IBM customers.

Software pricing changes

IBM also announced enhancements to its Workload License Charge (WLC) software pricing structure. IBM has reduced the entry point for its WLC variable priced products, which gives customers the granularity and flexibility they need to more economically manage smaller e-business and traditional workloads.

New financing options

In addition, IBM Global Financing announced new Total solution financing that is designed to help customers better handle the costs of unpredictable or variable workloads. IBM Global Financing now provides financing of On/Off Capacity on Demand charges to help customers more affordably acquire capacity when they need it, on a daily basis. IBM customers can now finance both their long-term use of IT infrastructure for a fixed term, and their temporary use of On/Off Capacity on Demand or capacity backup for shorter terms as required.

Product availability

The IBM eServer z990, models A08 and B16, will be available on June 16, 2003. Models C24 and D32 will be available on October 31, 2003. On/Off Capacity on Demand functionality will be available in September 2003. Secure key cryptography, support for 30 LPARs, and z/OS exploitation of 512 I/O channels will be available in October 2003.