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New IBM eServer Software Dramatically Improves Unix Server Utilization

System Utilization Rates At An Average 15 Percent Represent Huge Opportunity For Cost Savings

ARMONK, NY - 08 Oct 2002: IBM today unveiled new eServer software enabling customers to harness the "un-tapped" power within their UNIX systems. The software, AIX 5L Version 5.2, dramatically improves system utilization and helps lower costs with mainframe-style workload balancing and the ability to add resources on the fly. Using the software, users can manage their servers with twice the precision versus competing systems from Sun.[1]

Today, industry averages for UNIX server utilization are in the 10 to 15 percent range, representing a tremendous opportunity for cost savings. In creating its latest software offering, IBM leveraged its expertise developing automated workload management capabilities for its mainframe systems, where peak utilization can average from 85 to 100 percent.[2]

Available on new and existing IBM eServer pSeries systems, AIX 5L v5.2 allows users to divide their server into smaller "virtual" servers running either UNIX or Linux. Like in the mainframe world, users can exploit the full power of their system by shifting workloads and changing resources transparently. If one partition experiences a problem and needs to be restarted it does not affect any of the other virtual servers on the system.

IBM breaks new barriers in UNIX server manageability by allowing administrators to create virtual servers on "dynamic partitions" that are as small as a single processor and 250 MB of memory. The smaller the partition, the more efficient the resource allocation, and potentially, the lower the Total Cost of Ownership. By contrast, the smallest partition allowed on comparable Sun systems is two processors and 2,048 MB of memory.[1]

"Too often, customers feel performance and scalability constraints while resources lie dormant within their current systems," said Adalio Sanchez, general manager, IBM eServer pSeries. "AIX 5L Version 5.2 provides users with a highly manageable, future-proof environment while enabling them to harvest the full potential of existing IT investments."

New to AIX 5L Version 5.2, IBM's implementation of dynamic Logical Partitioning (LPAR) allows system resources including processors, memory and, other components to be assigned to independent partitions, without rebooting the system. The ability to allocate resources without interruption eases system management and contributes to lower Total Cost of Ownership because the resources are better utilized.

Another important feature of AIX 5L version 5.2 is Capacity Upgrade on Demand (CUoD). Working synergistically, CUoD and dynamic LPAR help system administrators adapt to changing workloads and rapid growth without an interruption in service. Using CUoD and dynamic LPAR together, if an IBM eServer pSeries system has a failing processor, a new processor can be automatically brought online at no additional charge to the customer and with no interruption in service or performance degradation.

Users may also seamlessly add new processors in pairs to meet increased workloads without interrupting operations. This is especially important to retail chains and other companies with peak seasons. The other advantage of CUoD is increased granularity. Before customer had to add eight processors at a time now they can buy just the processing power they need now and have excess capacity available for future growth.

Logical Partitioning also allows administrators to divide their pSeries systems into many smaller virtual servers running either AIX 5L v5.2, v5.1 or Linux. Because many systems may be consolidated on to one IBM eServer, customers are able to save on floor space and system administration expenses.

The ability to run both AIX 5L v5.2 and Linux concurrently offers several advantages over a two system approach. Administrators running test and production applications may wish to run both within one server rather than operating two separate machines with possible performance variances. Having a common server can be very useful during operating system and application migrations leaving one less variable. Training expense savings may also be realized as administrators need only learn one hardware platform. IBM is the only major vendor in the industry to offer servers capable of running both Linux and UNIX simultaneously on a single server.

As a result, customers will be able to buy just the amount and type of computing power needed for the job. Depending on existing infrastructure, training, and applications, administrators may choose to run their system with AIX 5L, Linux, or some combination of the two.

New in AIX 5L Version 5.2 - Dynamic Logical Partitioning - LPAR divides pSeries systems into smaller "virtual servers" running AIX 5L Version 5.2 or Linux. Dynamic LPAR significantly enhances the flexibility and availability of IBM eServer pSeries systems by enabling administrators to add and remove processors, memory and I/O slots from active partitions without rebooting.

New Linux and AIX Cluster Offerings IBM also announced today that it will deliver the first software package for managing mixed clusters of UNIX and Linux servers. Clustered Systems Management (CSM) Version 1.3 provides a single point-of-control for installing, configuring, maintaining and updating IBM eServer xSeries servers running Linux and IBM eServer pSeries servers, or their logical partitions, running AIX. Now enterprises with both UNIX and Linux applications can consolidate them on a single CSM-managed cluster and realize significant cost savings through simplified administration of a broader range of servers, operating systems and the applications they support.

With today's announcement, IBM pre-packaged cluster offerings are enhanced to support more systems. The IBM eServer Cluster 1600 is expanded to support as many as 128 specified IBM eServer pSeries servers running its own AIX 5L operating system. The IBM eServer Cluster 1350 is expanded to support up to 512 managed IBM eServer xSeries systems running the Linux operating system. Both cluster offerings are pre-tested, pre-configured and delivered ready-to-run in a customer's environment. Higher scalability limits for both the Cluster 1600 and the Cluster 1350 are available by special bid.

Planned availability for CSM on the IBM eServer Cluster 1600 is October 25, 2002. Support for up to 128 servers or 128 operating system images on IBM eServer Cluster 1600 is December 13, 2002. Planned availability for scalability to 256 systems on IBM eServer Cluster 1350 is October 25, 2002. Support for mixed AIX 5L v5.2 and Linux clusters is planned for December 13, 2002.

IBM plans to provide support for IBM eServer BladeCenter servers as cluster nodes for denser packaging and higher degrees of scaling in the first quarter of 2003.

The ability to configure and interoperate systems running Linux and UNIX offers numerous advantages to customers in the areas of flexibility, scalability, administration and skills protection. IBM plans to extend these advantages even further by introducing new pSeries servers in the fourth quarter of 2002 and the first quarter of 2003 designed to run Linux. The introduction of these servers will make IBM the only major UNIX vendor to offer a complete product line capable of running Linux natively.

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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, AIX 5L, and pSeries are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries licensed exclusively through The Open Group.

Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other company, product and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Contact(s) information

Willow Christie
IBM Media Relations
(914) 766-4427
willowc@us.ibm.com

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