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New IBM eServer Outperforms Sun Machine By 84 Percent

With Superior Self-Management Capabilities, Blazing Performance and Mainframe-Inspired Availability Features, IBM eServer p630 Targets Sun Microsystems Stronghold

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ARMONK, NEW YORK - 25 Jun 2002: IBM today re-energized the $7.8 billion[1] entry UNIX(R) server space with the introduction of a POWER4-based eServer that offers 84 percent[2] greater performance than Sun's just announced V480. An entry-level version of IBM's groundbreaking IBM eServer p690, the IBM eServer p630 targets the heart of Sun Microsytems' product lineup -- the up-to-four-processor UNIX server segment that provided Sun with 37 percent of its total revenue in 2001, according to industry analyst IDC[3].

IBM is already building momentum in the sale of entry UNIX servers, gaining 1.8 points of share in the first quarter year to year while Sun's share for the same period plummeted 7.5 points, according to IDC[4].

The IBM eServer p630 is designed to run Linux(R) and the AIX 5L(tm) operating system. IBM plans to introduce dynamic LPAR capability in the fourth quarter, enabling customers to divide the machine into up to four "virtual" servers. These systems, which can be as small as a single processor, can dynamically change in size to accommodate shifting workloads. Sun's V480, by contrast, cannot be subdivided.[5]

The IBM eServer p630 provides a broad spectrum of companies with an affordable server that offers performance and reliability features previously available only to high end customers. By including big system functionality in an entry system, the p630 enables companies to deploy small, but critical applications on an optimally-sized machine. This can result in significant savings, particularly when software and middleware such as databases are part of the solution.

"In developing the IBM eServer p630, we leveraged the exceptional capabilities of the award-winning IBM eServer p690 and p670, which have a strong history of beating the competition on both price and performance," said Val Rahmani, general manager, IBM eServer. "Equipped with POWER4 processors and extensive high-availability features, p630 has what it takes to provide customers with a competitive edge."

The flexible p630 is ideal for enterprise resource planning, file and print, Web serving, and test and development applications. In addition to commercial and e-business applications, the floating point power, memory capacity and internal storage of the IBM eServer p630 make it an excellent choice for High Performance Computing and scientific and technical environments.

When comparing the IBM eServer p630 to the Sun V480, its superiority in performance, reliability, serviceability, and availability features is clear:

IBM eServer p630 Sun V480[6]
Web Performance (SPECweb99_SSL) 1,050 568
Processor Speed 1.0 GHz 900 MHz
Copper/Silicon-on-Insulator Processors Yes No
Dynamic LPAR (split system into virtual servers) Planned 4Q02 No
Chipkill(tm) Memory (for superior reliability) Yes No
Dynamic Processor Deallocation (automatically take processors on and off line) Yes No
First Failure Data Capture (track problems to the source) Yes No
Native Linux Support Expected 3Q02[7] No
Linux in a Partition Planned 4Q02 No

The IBM eServer p630 is the fastest four-way Web secure server, according to the rigorous SPECweb99_SSL benchmark. The SPECweb99_SSL measures a server's ability to support a given number of secure Web users while maintaining certain performance requirements. The p630 supported 1,050 simultaneous connections, far outpacing the 568 simultaneous connections achieved by the four-way Sun V480.

The p630's rich feature-set coupled with its low price underscores IBM's ongoing commitment to leverage industry-leading, IBM-developed technology throughout the entire eServer product line.

Key Features:

Four Virtual Servers -- In the fourth quarter 2002, IBM plans to add Dynamic Logical Partitioning (LPAR), which will enable the IBM eServer p630 to be operated as a single large server or divided into as many as four "virtual" servers, running AIX 5L or Linux in one or multiple partitions. Customers will be able to dynamically reconfigure the partitions without an interruption in service. The ability to create virtual servers with as few as one processor enables a more efficient use of resources including processors, memory and I/O. By contrast, the Sun V480 cannot be partitioned, and the "hard" partitions in Sun's larger enterprise servers require at least two chips, regardless of workload.

LPAR, because of its ability to separate and rebalance workloads, is especially beneficial to customers operating independent environments within one server, such as test and production level applications, as well as organizations consolidating resources, and customers with high availability requirements.

Operating System Flexibility -- The IBM eServer p630 is supported by the industry's most open operating system, AIX 5L. AIX 5L provides a full 64-bit kernel with proven performance, reliability and leading systems management technologies such as AIX Workload Manager. AIX includes a set of Linux affinity tools that allow customers to run many popular Linux applications on the p630, after recompilation, while maintaining the enterprise features of AIX. Native Linux support for the p630 is anticipated next quarter.

Server on a Chip -- IBM's POWER4 microprocessor, widely acknowledged to be at least one generation ahead of competing chips, is the first "server on a chip," containing two one-gigahertz processors, a high-bandwidth system switch, a large memory cache and I/O interface. The POWER4 chip has a unique design that enables the server to conserve energy.

Self-Healing Architecture -- The IBM pSeries 630 is built with technology from IBM's Project eLiza(tm) initiative, which provides multiple layers of self-healing technologies designed to guard against and recover from system failure. A high level of redundancy and self-management helps maintain a low total cost of ownership by helping lower systems administration expenses, reduce service calls and downtime.

Room to Grow -- The IBM eServer p630 provides an ideal solution for customers looking for a low-cost initial investment with excellent growth options. The p630 is expandable to four processors, 16 GB of memory, four hot-swappable disks and four hot-plug PCI-X slots.
Easy Access -- To make systems management and service as easy as possible, the p630 allows front access to major system components and cables. The system also offers wireless manageability using a hand-held personal computing device or via cable through a console port.

Small Footprint -- The IBM p630 is a space saver with its two ultra-dense packaging options. The system is available in both rack-mountable and a deskside configurations, which offer the same processing power and scalability options.

The IBM eServer p630 provides businesses with a low cost, high capacity platform for server consolidation. The server is also highly suitable as a development platform for ISVs or for high-performance computing environments, which can take advantage of the excellent floating point performance of POWER4 architecture/processor/chip.

The IBM eServer p630 is competitively priced at $12,495[8]. Planned availability for the pSeries 630 is August 30, 2002[9].

# # #

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, Project eLiza, Chipkill, 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.

SPEC, SPECfp2000, and SPECweb99_SSL are a trademarks of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC).

All other company, product and service names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

(C) 2002 International Business Machines Corporation, all rights reserved.

[1] Market size according to IDC Quarterly Server Forecast, June 2002. IDC defines "entry" server as systems with a maximum of 4 processors.

[2] Based on SPECweb99_SSL results for 4-way IBM p630 and 4-way Sun V480. IBM result submitted to SPEC June 24, 2002. Sun result from a Sun press release dated June 18, 2002 available at www.sun.com. See www.spec.org for more information about the SPECweb99_SSL benchmark.

[3] According to IDC Quarterly Server Tracker 1Q02.

[4] According to IDC Quarterly Server Tracker 1Q02.

[5] All statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

[6] Information about Sun products was obtained from www.sun.com as of June 24, 2002.

[7] IBM anticipates that support for the IBM eServer p630 will be available from one or more Linux distributors in the third quarter of 2002.

[8] Based on U.S. list price for the minimum IBM eServer p630 1-way configuration, effective June 24, 2002. Reseller prices may vary.

[9] Planned worldwide availability for the IBM eServer p630 is August 30, 2002 (exception: planned availability in the People's Republic of China is planned for September 27, 2002).