IBM Simplifies Clustering of Industry Standard Servers With New Pre-Configured Netfinity Bundles

Collaboration with Microsoft Leads to Industry's First Two-Node Cluster Bundles Powered By Advanced Server for Windows 2000

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RALEIGH, N.C - 12 May 2000: -- IBM today announced two cluster server offerings designed to reduce the complexity of ordering and connecting industry standard servers for uninterrupted operations. The Netfinity HA Cluster Servers, which are the first two-node bundles to be powered by Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, deliver a 20 percent savings to customers over the cost of purchasing and configuring individual components.

The servers break additional hurdles for high volume server clusters by making a complete system easy to purchase. Since IBM pre-configures the systems, customers order one part number which consolidates over 48 components. Once received, the customer can unbox the system and begin working in minutes. IBM will provide customers enhanced levels of support for the first 90 days following the purchase, via a single point of contact for both software and hardware.

Clustering allows for continuous server availability. Should either server require maintenance, the other automatically takes over so applications and data will always be available to users.

The Netfinity HA Cluster Servers are available in both rack and tower models. The rack cluster retails at $23,999 and the tower cluster is $19,499.

Microsoft/IBM Collaboration

Microsoft and IBM have worked together to offer of a cluster server with Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server. The HA Cluster Servers can also be ordered with Windows NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition with Microsoft consulting Services (MCS).

"Microsoft is committed to working with partners, such as IBM, to deliver cost-effective, high-availability Windows 2000-based solutions to our customers," said Peter Conway, Director of Enterprise Computing for Microsoft Corporation. "We are pleased that IBM is releasing a reliable and scalable clustering solution which will give a new range of users the ability to reap the benefits of a highly available computing experience."

"This brings enterprise clustering capabilities to the industry server space," said Jim Gargan, director of strategy for IBM Netfinity Servers. "Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server provides businesses with a powerful and scaleable high-availability solution. It is excellent for demanding applications and services such as e-commerce, Internet and intranet sites, database and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications."

The Configurations

The rack option is based on the IBM Netfinity 4500R 3U server which provides the industry's most computing power per square foot for industry standard servers. The offering includes two 2-way SMP servers based on the latest 667 Mhz Intel Processors with 133MHz front side bus. Combined with storage expansion capacity large enough for Enterprises, ISPs or any customer where real estate availability is a concern, the two servers are connected by the IBM EXP200 Storage Expansion Unit that can support up to 10 hot swap hard drives.

The tower option is a 2-way SMP based on two IBM Netfinity 5100 server. It comes with the same Intel Processors as the rack option. Each server in the cluster has up to 4 GB of SDRAM memory and is also connected by the IBM Netfinity EXP200 Storage Expansion Unit.

IBM's Netfinity Manager provides advanced systems management that can page the server administrator in the event of a problem. It monitors the hardware and software resources in Microsoft Cluster Services and provides one piece of software that allows the components to work seamlessly. Netfinity Director provides advanced systems management that can alert the user of a problem in many ways, including paging the server administrator. The integrated predictive failure technology is enabled for Netfinity Servers to predict failures before they actually occur, reducing system downtime and preventing data loss from unplanned system downtime.

Netfinity servers offer X-Architecture features developed from the most powerful IBM servers that pioneered clustering technology. These features include a dedicated service processor, enhanced LED Light Path Diagnostics, hot swap redundant power & hot swap fans, advanced redundant cooling and a cable management system.

Software ready and tested

To complete the cluster solutions to customers, the industry's leading solutions have been tested on IBM's Netfinity ClusterProven Program. It is part of an ongoing, strategic effort to achieve continuous system application availability. This initiative demonstrates the commitment IBM and many other solution developers have made to high availability and support of clustered servers.

For more information about IBM Netfinity servers and products, please visit

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