New IBM eServer System Shatters Performance Records

Midrange p620 and p660 Incorporate Silicon-on-Insulator and Mainframe Technologies to Boost Speed, Manageability and Reliability

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ARMONK, N.Y - 23 Apr 2001: IBM today introduced two ultra-powerful midrange IBM eServer[1] UNIX[2] systems - the p620 and p660 - that leverage IBM's Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) technology, self-management capabilities and mainframe-grade memory correction features for extraordinary UNIX performance.

Extending the strategy that has driven IBM's success since the introduction of breakthrough Copper Technology in 1999, the new servers provide dramatically better performance than competing systems at a lower cost.

The deskside p620 and rack-mounted p660 are the industry's first midrange UNIX servers to contain IBM-pioneered SOI technology. Microprocessors built with SOI run up to 35 percent faster and at much cooler temperatures than traditional aluminum chips, increasing server performance and up-time.

In contrast to the IBM systems, Sun's comparable server -- the recently-announced Sun Fire 3800 -- is up to 88 percent more expensive[3], consumes nearly three times more electricity[4], and generates tremendous amounts of heat -- the bane of server reliability[5]. Requiring more processors to achieve a given level of performance, the Sun Fire 3800 is also one of the industry's costliest platforms for running key software applications[6].

"We selected the new IBM eServer systems because they are the most powerful, scalable and manageable midrange servers in the world," said Dr. Kevin Smith, CEO of MD, which will use the servers to host an application that enables physicians to transmit prescriptions and other medical information via wireless devices. "Using the new IBM eServer systems, MD will help doctors save time, reduce medical errors and cut expenses."

Today's announcement is accompanied by IBM's introduction of AIX 5L, the next generation in UNIX operating systems. Specifically tuned for Linux applications, AIX 5L provides the industry's premier environment for building and managing both UNIX and Linux applications, providing a substantial advantage over closed, proprietary systems.

Midrange Dynamos
The new IBM eServer systems offer the speed and reliability to run customers' most important applications, including e-business, supply chain, customer relationship management, and business intelligence.

In addition to SOI, the p620 and p660 both incorporate the IBM-pioneered copper microprocessor technology that was introduced in the IBM eServer line last year. Copper chips provide superior performance to those that contain aluminum because copper is a better electrical conductor than aluminum.

The microprocessor innovations are reflected in the new servers' performance numbers. The IBM eServer p660 is the world's fastest 6-way transaction processing server, scoring 57,346.93 transactions per minute (tpmC) in the TPC-C transaction-processing benchmark, at a cost of $32.59 per transaction ($/tpmC).

The p660 and p620 are also equipped with self-management and reliability features available only on IBM systems. "Chipkill(tm)" technology, derived from IBM's mainframes, virtually eliminates memory failures -- one of the most frequent causes of server downtime. Chipkill is estimated to be 100 times more effective than the Error Checking Correction technology implemented by most server vendors.

If a memory error does occur, Chipkill automatically and gracefully takes the inoperative memory chip off-line, while the server keeps running.

"With this announcement, IBM combines support for open standards with the latest advancements in hardware technology to offer the industry's most powerful and flexible midrange systems," said Rod Adkins, general manager, pSeries, IBM eServer. "Now, customers can source applications on Linux and move them quickly and easily to UNIX -- a growing trend in corporate data centers."

IBM eServer p660
A rack-mounted powerhouse, the one- to six-way p660 can handle harsh environments -- like Internet data centers operated by telcos and service providers -- where machines are often subject to extreme physical stress. The server conforms to the Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) standards that telecommunications companies rely on to measure the durability of computers and other equipment.

Offering NEBS Level 3 compliance -- the most stringent level of disaster resistance certification in the telecommunications industry -- the p660 has been hardened to withstand high temperature, violent shaking, lightning strikes, airborne contaminants, fires, and electrostatic discharge.

The p660 is far more powerful than its predecessor, the H80. For example, the new system achieves 55 percent better performance in running Siebel 2000, an important customer relationship management application, according to IBM tests.

IBM eServer p620
The p620 provides the same outstanding performance as the p660 in a compact tower package that's perfect for small businesses, corporate departments and branch offices.

The p620 and p660 offer additional features, such as: