IBM S/390 Offers An Edge for the Enterprise In Managing Unpredictability, Growth

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SOMERS, N.Y - 23 Feb 1999: -- IBM today announced the edge enterprise customers need to help handle growth in today's unpredictable business environment. OS/390 Version 2 Release 7 is the most powerful release to date of S/390's flagship operating system.

Combined with new channel and networking capabilities on the S/390 G5 Parallel Enterprise Server, Release 7 delivers significant enhancements in connectivity, bandwidth, performance, systems management and security.

IBM today also announced new software pricing terms and conditions for those S/390 customers growing their Parallel Sysplex technology clusters beyond 1,800 MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second) capacity. Parallel Sysplex Level D pricing is expected to begin April 1.

At the heart of today's announcement are finely honed versions of OS/390 components, which include eNetwork Communications Server, IBM WebSphere Application Server, OS/390 UNIX System Services and OS/390 Security Server. Release 7, available in March, also will include Data Facilities Storage Management System (DFSMS) enhancements that will provide performance improvements of up to 40 times over the previous release. In addition, customers will find further system management support with the Tivoli Management Agent framework, which enables OS/390 applications to be managed by Tivoli systems management solutions anywhere in the enterprise.

"The S/390 platform keeps getting better," said David R. Carlucci, general manager, IBM S/390 Division. "No other platform offers the advanced networking and application server capabilities in an integrated hardware and software solution."

Also announced today was the availability of fibre optic channels (FICON) and Gigabit Ethernet support for the S/390 G5 Parallel Enterprise Server. Combined with OS/390, FICON and Gigabit Ethernet can provide customers with significantly enhanced connectivity and reduced network and systems bottlenecks (see accompanying fact sheet).

With these OS/390 enhancements and the new Parallel Sysplex Level D pricing, IBM continues to help customers grow existing workloads and put new applications on S/390 servers.

OS/390 enhances connectivity and Web serving performance:
eNetwork Communications Server for OS/390 provides a high performance Internet protocol environment for customers with intense Web-serving needs.

New in release 7 - Gigabit Ethernet support will be available through S/390 Open Systems Adapter (OSA)-Express for TCP/IP applications to help relieve network congestion. The OSA-Express Gigabit Ethernet feature will work with OS/390 to provide significantly increased throughput compared with Fast Ethernet, now available on S/390.

Enterprise Extender provides advanced technology for legacy Systems Network Architecture (SNA) and Internet protocol (IP) integration. This feature improves the ability of an enterprise to converge to a single IP network by allowing SNA applications and clients to retain benefits similar to those of a pure SNA environment, while communicating over IP networks.

The Service Policy Agent enables the enterprise to control the network priority and limit access and throughput for TCP/IP users and applications. This improves the ability of an organization to implement service level agreements or service policies for TCP/IP networks. The agent can override the priority specified by an individual to prevent violations of established service policy.

Recent releases of eNetwork Communications Server for OS/390 introduced newly designed TCP/IP services to provide performance improvements of up to 15X for a full range of applications -- whether they are file transfer, telnet, UNIX or any independent software provider application using the TCP/IP sockets interface.
Fast response cache accelerator (FRCA) (IBM's TCP/IP performance technology) significantly contributed to S/390's leadership position in a recent SPECWeb96 industry-standardized benchmark for access to Web data. A 10-processor S/390 G5 Turbo server, running OS/390 V. 2 Rel. 7 posted a rating of 21,591 static Web hits per second -- a 50-percent increase over the previous SPECweb record.

IBM WebSphere Application Server provides high scalability for Web application serving. IBM WebSphere Application Server Family supports customers' e-business applications, ranging from Web publishing to enterprise-level transaction processing.

New in Release 7 - WebSphere Application Server V1.1 will include automated support for digital certificates and Java servlets, as well as significant performance enhancements. Java servlets for WebSphere can be built and tested from within the VisualAge for Java integrated development environment, then deployed to WebSphere. Placing the Web application server on the same hardware platform as the business application and data, enables better performance for customers who need to merge their enterprise business systems, such as databases and transaction processing systems, and extends them to the Web.

OS/390 V. 2 Rel. 7 energizes application enablement:
OS/390 UNIX System Services help customers port UNIX applications more quickly and easily to the S/390 platform. The enhancements to storage management in Release 7 are some of the final steps taken in improving the elements within OS/390 UNIX System Services.

New in Release 7 - A new level of Data Facility Storage Management System (DFSMS/MVS) 1.5 will include a restructuring of the Hierarchical File System (HFS) to help remove system bottlenecks and improve CPU utilization. Customers who run or develop applications using HFS will see dramatic file performance improvements of up to 40 times. The enhancements to DFSMS/MVS also can help improve availability and scalabilty of IBM's Parallel Sysplex environment.

OS/390 improves systems management capabilities:
Tivoli Enterprise provides a single flexible architecture with a comprehensive suite of management tools to help enable consistent management of thousands of systems, applications and users. Customers gain the capability to centrally manage complex cross-platform business-critical IT environments.

New in Release 7 -- Tivoli Management Agent, a base element in OS/390, positions OS/390 as "Tivoli Ready" enabling the system to be managed by IBM's industry leading systems management products from Tivoli. Tivoli Enterprise applications that currently run in the distributed environment can manage OS/390 as they manage other platforms.

High levels of security integrated into S/390 software and hardware
OS/390 and its optional, integrated OS/390 Security Server feature, help customers bring high levels of security to e-business applications. OS/390 incorporates the latest standards for Virtual Private Networks (VPN) or Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMPv3) and Triple DES.

New in Release 7 - Open Cryptographic Services Facility provides security and cryptographic services for use in applications running in OS/390's UNIX environment. It is designed to be compatible with industry standards, such as OpenGroup's Common Data Security Architecture (CDSA). The open architecture can help protect the investment made in implementation of applications by facilitating the reuse of core components of the architecture for different products.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) services enable an S/390 server to serve as an enterprise directory and security server. These functions include enhancements to user ID and password authentication through Security Server, client access to Security Server RACF USER and GROUP information, support for multiple LDAP servers in an S/390 Parallel Sysplex cluster environment, and Java support for industry-standard Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI).

System SSL provides a callable set of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) API functions to help application developers exploit the high security and encryption capabilities of the popular SSL Internet protocol.

In January, the S/390 CMOS Cryptographic Coprocessor chip received FIPS 140-1 Level 4 certification -- the highest level of security certification awarded by the US government. This Level 4 certification further establishes the S/390 platform as an industry leader in security features for e-business applications.

IBM Delivers Parallel Sysplex Level D Pricing
With the new Parallel Sysplex Level D Pricing, customers can take advantage of a reduced price structure 25 percent below the previously lowest price available. Further, this price change applies if those users choose to use the latest versions of more than 80 products, including IBM's OS/390, DB2, CICS Transaction Server, MQSeries, IMS, Net.Commerce, IBM compilers and application development tools, and system management and network management products. This new pricing change builds on IBM's announcement last September to standardize on two pricing models for OS/390 -- S/390 Usage Pricing and Parallel Sysplex capacity pricing.

The announcement of Level D Pricing reinforces IBM's strategy of providing customers with improving software price/performance as they add capacity to their existing Parallel Sysplex clusters. Customer acceptance of Parallel Sysplex technology continues to grow. At the end of last year, more than 1,100 S/390 customers were benefiting from Parallel Sysplex technology.

IBM also intends to announce, later this year, pricing improvements to the S/390 Usage Pricing option, which will complement the Parallel Sysplex Level D pricing changes.

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