IBM Raises the Bar on Enterprise-Level Storage Performance

"Shark" storage server devours the competition in performance tests

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San Jose, CA - 18 Nov 1999: . . .IBM announced today performance results for its new Enterprise Storage Server -- code named 'Shark' -- which demonstrate that 'Shark' outperforms competitive products from EMC and Hitachi. Tests1 conducted by IBM at its Santa Teresa Laboratory confirm that 'Shark' with Parallel Access Volumes (PAV), an IBM-unique feature, provides the performance needed to handle today's data-intensive e-business, data warehousing and Business Intelligence applications. Test results are available at

Parallel Access Volumes offers IBM S/390 enterprise server customers unprecedented performance improvements in data access. It allows multiple applications to access the same data at the same time, a function already available in UNIX and NT operating systems. Designed specifically for large customers using S/390 servers, the business benefits of PAV are dramatic. By greatly increasing the speed of data access, PAV is especially valuable to companies that maintain Web sites which must be able to absorb peak loads.

"With 'Shark,' IBM Storage is reclaiming its rightful place next to S/390. Any enterprise customer can use PAV technology to better manage e-commerce and other sophisticated Web-based applications," said Ron Kilpatrick, general manager of IBM's Storage Systems Division. "PAV on 'Shark' is the only way to go when a company needs speed. Our customers are using it right now for lightning-fast queries on credit cards and for customized Web sites where fast access to customer behavior information is a necessity ."

"Performance is a critical issue for companies doing business on the Web because customers define faster as better," said John McArthur, vice president of Storage Research for International Data Corporation. "This holiday season, e-businesses are anticipating record numbers of transactions and storage will be critical to supporting those transactions. New high performance solutions such as the IBM Enterprise Storage Server will be a key factor in determining customers' satisfaction with online shopping."

For many customers, consistent response time is as important as fast response time. ESS with PAV delivers both by automatically reducing contention, or bottlenecks, and improving responsiveness under stress. In the same way, PAV helps to reduce mundane storage management tasks and improves application availability by eliminating the need to manually move data sets around to reduce contention.

The Workload Manager (WLM) in OS/390starting with Version 2, Release 7 provides dynamic management of the PAV environment in an S/390 Parallel Sysplex technology clusterin response to customer workload priorities. As workloads change, the WLM adjusts the PAV environment to minimize contention and deliver the highest performance to the top priority workloads.

PAV Test Results

For more information on IBM Enterprise Storage Server performance, visit

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1 Performance measurements were recorded in a controlled laboratory environment using workloads believed to be representative of customer environments. The results that may be obtained in other operating environments may vary significantly. Users of this information should verify the applicable data in their specific environment.

IBM, S/390, OS/390, S/390 Parallel Sysplex, Workload Manager, RAMAC, DB2 and Enterprise Storage Server are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.

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