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IBM Announces New High Performance Server Based on X3 Architecture

IBM xSeries 260 Provides Higher Levels of Performance and Storage at a Lower Cost

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ARMONK, NY - 24 Aug 2005: IBM is extending its X3 Architecture-based family of servers with the introduction today of the IBM xSeries 260, a high performance four-processor server designed for remote office locations or storage-intensive applications.

The X3 Architecture, introduced in February, is the culmination of a three-year, one hundred-million-dollar development effort to bring mainframe-inspired capabilities and sophisticated high-end technology to the company's next-generation 64-bit Intel Xeon processor MP-based xSeries servers. X3 Architecture-based servers already hold many leadership industry standard benchmarks.

The 7U high x260 server provides customers with the ability to include up to twelve 3.5-inch Serial Attached Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) hard disk drives for higher capacities and faster spin speeds, making it an ideal solution for storage-intensive applications. Customers can install capacities up to 300 Gigabytes per drive for a total of 3.6 Terabytes of local storage.

The x260 meets the individual needs of remote or branch locations of hotels, banks and retail operations for large amounts of internal storage and local backup for critical business information. For instance, hotels can backup their records and reservations, and bank branches can use the x260 to meet SEC requirements for data retention and auditing purposes. Additionally, small and medium businesses and retail outlets like toy stores, electronic stores and department stores are targeted customers to run point of sale systems and to use as a central storage location for inventory, sales and to send data to corporate offices.

"The x260 server is unique," said Leo Suarez, vice president and business line executive, xSeries division, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "Its combination of high performance, massive internal Serial Attached SCSI storage resources and full power redundancy at 220- and 110-volts makes it the perfect four-processor server for power constrained data centers, office environments and many international markets."

The dual-core-capable x260 relies on 64-bit Intel Xeon MP processors -- formerly code-named Cranford -- to provide high performance computing at a lower cost. The server's internal electronics are identical to the x366 3U rack server introduced earlier this year. Also available in a tower configuration, the x260 can run on standard 110-volt power in a fully redundant configuration, making it suitable for office environments. The x260 offers customers potentially significant investment protection through expandable processing power, memory and storage capacity that is often required for e-mail and database serving applications.

An optional Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape drive can offer up to 800 Gigabytes of internal tape backup capacity facilitating local backup and off-site storage for distributed environments.

The x260 is the third server based on X3 Architecture. In February, IBM announced the IBM xSeries 366, a four-way server optimized for server consolidation and enterprise applications. The IBM xSeries 460, introduced in June, starts as an affordable four-way server and easily scales up to 32-way processing, allowing customers the flexibility to upgrade on demand to greater capacity as their business demands increase.

X3 Architecture servers continue to set new Benchmark records
The x260 scored the best results for SPECint and SPECfp benchmarks published for a four-way server using the Intel Xeon processor. For overall system throughput, the x260 server's SPECint_rate2000 and SPECfp_rate2000 scores are the best published for a four-way server using a 3.66 Gigahertz Intel Xeon processor.

The x260 achieved a SPECfp_rate2000 score of 48.76, which is 36 percent better throughput than the HP ProLiant DL580 G3 and 41 percent better throughput than the Dell PowerEdge 6850. The x260 achieved a SPECint_rate2000 score of 68.16, which is 18 percent better throughput than the HP ProLiant DL580 G3 and 20 percent better throughput than the Dell PowerEdge 6850.(1)

The x260 and the x366 have the same performance characteristics thanks to their identical electronics. A recent benchmark from independent testing firm VeriTest further indicates that IBM's line of X3 Architecture -- employed in the x260, x366 and x460 -- offers superior virtualization performance. (See related press release, "IBM X3 Architecture Proven Top Platform For Virtualization," at www.ibm.com/press.)

IBM's X3 Architecture-based family of servers is ideal for customers turning to virtualization for server consolidation, new application deployment and mergers and acquisitions. The x260, x366 and x460 systems are designed to run the most demanding applications in support of today's on demand business environments.

Pricing and Availability
The IBM eServer xSeries 260 entry price starts at $4,599, and is planned to be available in the United States in mid-September. IBM's eServer X3 Architecture-based systems run new scalable 64-bit x86 operating system software from Microsoft, Red Hat and Novell.

More information about the IBM xSeries product line is available at www.ibm.com/eserver/xseries.