IBM introduces ultimate in Web Server Clustering

IBM Supercomputing Expertise and RS/6000 S80 Combine to Create "Blue Hammer"

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SOMERS, N.Y - 11 Sep 2000: . . . IBM today announced the world's most powerful UNIX cluster system dedicated to Web-based commerce. Code-named "Blue Hammer," the high-performance cluster for the first time brings the comprehensive management capabilities of IBM's industry-leading supercomputers to its top-performing RS/6000 S80 enterprise server.

The S80-based high-performance cluster system ushers in a new era of manageability for commercial UNIX systems, using IBM's Parallel System Support Programs (PSSP) -- robust management software first developed for the RS/6000 SP supercomputer -- to cluster up to 16 ultra-powerful S80's that can scale to 384 copper microprocessors. The cluster uses the PSSP software to provide system administrators with a single point of control -- an easy-to-use interface that allows them to configure and maintain all the servers in the cluster simultaneously, substantially reducing time spent managing the system.

Specifically, PSSP software:
Allows system administrators to use a control workstation to perform all administrative functions that affect one or more members of the cluster. For example, a Network Install Manager permits operating system installation and configuration across the entire cluster from the control workstation.

Allows monitoring and controlling hardware, creating and monitoring events, and the configuration of members of the cluster individually, in groups, or all at once.

Provides a Configuration File Manager that enables administrators to keep configuration files -- such as passwords -- in synch across all the members of the cluster.

"The new high performance UNIX cluster from IBM integrates the world's best supercomputing software with the awesome power of the S80 to create an easily managed and highly scalable powerhouse for today's e-businesses," said Michael Kerr, vice president of products, IBM Web Servers. "Customers can now scale their Web infrastructures rapidly while maintaining manageability necessary for peak performance."

The new S80 clustered system from IBM addresses one of the most crucial e-business requirements -- the need for uninterrupted growth on the Web. With the ability to scale seamlessly from two 12-way systems up to sixteen 24-way systems, the cluster enables customers to add servers and more easily manage them as demand soars.

The S80 cluster is available immediately. Base configuration (two 6-way clustered S80s with a control workstation) begins at $705,000. IBM also plans to expand the S80 cluster solution to include its 80-class UNIX midrange servers -- the M80 and H80 -- by the end of the second quarter 2001.

RS/6000 S80
The RS/6000 S80 -- currently the industry's fastest-selling high-end UNIX server -- is at the heart of the "Blue Hammer" cluster solution. Since its introduction in September of last year, the RS/6000 S80 has been recognized as the world's most powerful single server, shattering benchmark records for enterprise resource planning (ERP), Web serving, Java performance, online transaction processing, file serving and Lotus Domino scalability. Utilizing innovative copper microprocessor technology, the 64-bit RS/6000 S80 offers unmatched performance and scalability for e-business, business intelligence, ERP and other mission-critical business applications.

The S80's performance is enhanced by RS64 III microprocessors containing copper wire, first pioneered by IBM in 1997. Copper-based microprocessors provide better performance than those made with traditional aluminum wire because copper is a better electrical conductor than aluminum.

PSSP -- from Deep Blue to the Sydney Olympics
The S80s in the "Blue Hammer" system are clustered together using IBM's Parallel System Support Programs (PSSP) -- robust management software first developed for the RS/6000 SP supercomputer. A collection of applications for installation, configuration, device management, security and system recovery, PSSP has been proven in some of the most demanding IT environments on the planet.

In the supercomputer realm, PSSP helped power Deep Blue, the first machine to defeat a reigning chess champion, and ASCI White, the fastest computer ever built, which will be used by the Department of Energy for nuclear simulation. PSSP is also an integral part of the infrastructure that supports some of the world's largest Websites, such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament web site and the site for the upcoming Sydney Olympics.

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About IBM RS/6000

More than 1 million IBM RS/6000 systems have been shipped to over 150,000 commercial and technical customers around the world. The RS/6000 family of computers features IBM RISC-based microprocessors and runs AIX, IBM's UNIX operating system. RS/6000 delivers the industry's most complete UNIX offerings by combining applications with hardware, software, service, and support -- a combination that yields new levels of high availability, scalability, system management, performance, and Deep Computing capabilities.

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