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IBM Launches World's Most Powerful Server

"Regatta" Transforms the Economics of UNIX Servers at Half the Price of Competition

ARMONK, NY - 04 Oct 2001: IBM today introduced the world's most powerful UNIX server[1], crowning a five-year effort to deliver a new class of UNIX[2] system that incorporates microprocessor breakthroughs and mainframe technologies. At half the price of the just-released Sun Fire 15K[3], the IBM eServer[4] p690 -- code-named "Regatta" -- fundamentally transforms the economics of UNIX servers.

The IBM eServer p690 offers enterprises the most efficient platform for both server consolidation and large, single-system applications. When tackling the most complex problems, multiple p690 servers can be linked together to create supercomputers powered by more than 1,000 processors.

Initial p690 customers include Raytheon, Ahold Corporation, Telia Net, Tokyo Metro University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences.

"Five years ago, IBM set out to reinvent the UNIX server, and today we are delivering groundbreaking technologies never before seen in UNIX systems," said Rod Adkins, general manager, IBM eServer pSeries. "There is nothing in today's UNIX marketplace -- and on the horizon -- that begins to match its performance, reliability and flexibility to consolidate diverse workloads.

"IBM's server innovation doesn't stop here," Adkins added. "Our next step will be to leverage IBM's mainframe technology to reinvent the Intel-based high-end server market."

With fewer, more powerful processors, the eServer p690 achieves leadership business, scientific and Java performance benchmarks while delivering greater reliability and lower electricity, maintenance, operating and system administrator costs. Fewer processors also translates into lower cost of ownership, since many key software applications priced according to total number of processors are significantly less expensive to run on the eServer p690.

Key features include:

The IBM eServer p690 runs AIX 5L, the industry's fastest-growing UNIX operating system, and is ready for 64-bit Linux, the popular open source operating system.

Pricing for the eServer p690 starts at $450,000 for an 8-way 1.1 GHz system with 8 GB memory and 36.4 GB of storage. The system will begin shipping in volume in December 2001.

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IBM eServer p690 "Regatta" Facts

POWER4 Processor:
IBM's newest multi-chip module technology breakthrough was first deployed in the IBM eServer z900 mainframe. Information flows between the memory cache and the processor at nearly 125 gigabytes per second -- the equivalent of moving 25 full-length DVD movies in a single second. The POWER4 processor and ultra-dense multi-chip module are scheduled to be introduced in the IBM eServer iSeries integrated mainframe server for the mid-market in 2002.

The eServer p690 achieves leading scores in key industry benchmarks[6]:

Commercial Perf. (SPECint2000)808467
Technical Perf. (SPECfp2000)1169482
Java Processing (SPECJBB2000)169,000 (16-way)109,146 (24-way)

Self-Healing Architecture:
Thousands of sensors can predict when a component -- such as a CPU, cache or memory -- is likely to fail, then automatically take the component off-line, while keeping the server running. Mainframe-class system logic capabilities are designed to locate the root cause of problems before they are able to initiate chain reaction failures, preventing them from spreading to the entire system.

Operating System Flexibility:
The IBM eServer p690 runs AIX 5L and Linux applications. AIX 5L offers the scalability, performance, reliability and security needed to accommodate demanding e-business workloads. AIX features a strong affinity with Linux, allowing customers to build and run many popular Linux applications on AIX. Linux will also run natively in a partition.

For continuous operation and extreme scalability, multiple servers can be clustered together with IBM's industry-leading clustering management software.

Instant Scalability:
To make it easy for customers to expand their infrastructure, IBM will offer Capacity Upgrade on Demand (CUoD) for processors and memory[6]. When needed, system resources can be activated incrementally.

Click here for a photo of the IBM eServer p690

Click here for a photo of the IBM Power4 microprocessor

[1] Compared against currently published SPECjbb2000, SPECint2000 and SPECfp2000 benchmark results.

[2] UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company, Limited.

[3] 16-way, (1.1 GHz) IBM eServer p690 with 16 GB of memory ($761,878), compared with 16-way Sun Fire 15K with 16 GB of memory ($1,413,840).

[4]The IBM eServer brand consists of the established IBM e-business logo with the following descriptive term ``server'' following it.

IBM, the e-business logo, AIX, and pSeries are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

[5] Planned availability in 2H 2002.

[6] The table compares IBM-submitted results against the highest Sun benchmark results published in the identified benchmark categories as of the date of this press release. For more detail about the specific configurations underlying these results,and for the latest results, visit

Contact(s) information

John Buscemi
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-4495

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System i, System p, System x, System z, BladeCenter, and Supercomputers

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