IBM Offers S/390 Customers Capacity Upgrades on Demand for Just-In-Time Computing Power

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SOMERS, N.Y - 25 Jan 1999: -- With the growth of e-business, many companies linking customers and suppliers can find themselves facing unexpected demands for additional computing power that until today could not be quickly satisfied. To help them deal with this unpredictability, IBM today announced Capacity Upgrade on Demand, which allows customers to quickly have spare capacity "turned on" when needed within installed S/390 Parallel Enterprise G5 servers.

S/390 servers are the engines behind many of the millions of e-business transactions completed every day. Recent studies predict online purchases will grow between 60 and 100 percent in 1999 up to more than $20 billion, and will reach more than $100 billion by 2002. To help meet that growth, many companies will need to carefully plan for growth in computing capacity.

"With the explosion in e-business transactions, customers need highly available computing power that can be increased rapidly to handle that demand," said Brenda Zawatski, director, enterprise systems, S/390 Division. "With Capacity Upgrade on Demand for S/390 G5 Servers, customers can upgrade their systems when they need to -- all the way from a uniprocessor to a 10-way server -- without disrupting their ongoing business."

New S/390 Functions, Features
Today's announcement addresses customers' needs for a new set of functions, features and directions to help them meet the challenges of today's rapidly changing business environments. IBM is announcing a Plan-Ahead process where IBM works with customers to project a growth path for S/390 G5 servers to meet their needs for planned and unpredictable capacity growth with minimal or no disruption. The following features are offered with Plan-Ahead:

IBM also announced an optional Capacity Backup Upgrade option that allows for both remote and faster activation by IBM of emergency capacity. Additionally, IBM said it intends to make the functional enhancements that will be developed for the next generation of S/390 servers available on the S/390 G5 Server.

Improving Already Great Availability
Parallel Sysplex clustering already offers industry leading availability and protects customers against planned and unplanned outages for hardware and software. Capacity and workload can be shifted among systems (nodes) in the cluster to balance workload, to meet spikes in demand or to compensate for unplanned outages of a system in the cluster, because mission-critical data and applications can be utilized among all systems in the cluster. Today, you can add systems to a cluster or individual systems within the cluster can be taken off-line to upgrade capacity and software or for maintenance without disrupting mission-critical applications. Capacity Upgrade on Demand is designed for both single system upgrades and for use with S/390 Parallel Sysplex technology clusters to provide upgrades of individual servers with no downtime. Customers with Geographical Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) installations -- clusters spread across two sites separated by up to 40 kilometers (about 24 miles) -- can get unique value by combining GDPS environments with the Capacity Backup Upgrade option. The backup upgrade can bring extra processing power online quickly in the event of an emergency need for capacity at the other site.

IBM said Concurrent Conditioning will be available February 26. Capacity Upgrade on Demand and Capacity Backup Upgrade are expected to be available in the second quarter of 1999.

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