IBM Expands use of Enterprise X-Architecture for Intel-Based Servers

EXA Now Available for Intel® Itanium® 2-based eServer System

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 30 Apr 2003: IBM today announced a new eServer system based on its industry leading Enterprise X-Architecture™ (EXA), the IBM technology that helps enables Intel®-based servers to scale to new levels by bringing mainframe-inspired technology to the xSeries product line. EXA is now available in the Itanium 2-based eServer x450, a system ideally suited for optimized applications that require high floating point performance such as scientific and technical computing as well as business intelligence applications.

IBM's Enterprise X-Architecture was originally developed to support both the popular Intel Xeon and Intel Itanium 2 processor families. Today's announcement delivers on the Itanium part of the roadmap. In fact, IBM is the first major server vendor to manufacture a system such as the eServer® x440 system that allows customers to scale up to 16 Intel Xeon processors MP and has leadership price/performance. [1]

"The eServer x440 server using EXA technology helped revolutionize the IA32 server market a year ago," said Deepak Advani, vice president IBM eServer xSeries. "We are seeing stronger interest in 16 way eServer x440 systems, and are working closely with Intel and Microsoft to develop Xeon-based systems that will eventually increase to 32 processor. Today we bring the EXA value proposition to the Itanium 2-based eServer x450 for customers with optimized applications that require 64-bit memory addressing."

EXA has helped propel IBM to the leadership position in high end Intel-based computing. EXA based systems are designed to lower the cost of acquisition by offering customers "pay-as-you-grow" scalability, and help lower ongoing cost of operations due to mainframe inspired technologies. According to IDC's quarterly server tracker, in the fourth quarter of 2002, IBM grew revenue faster than the closest major competitor year-to-year and was the worldwide revenue leader for eight Intel processor based servers for the fourth quarter 2002. [2]

"We have worked closely with IBM on optimizing Windows Server 2003 for the eServer x440 and eServer x450," said Jim Hebert, General Manager, Windows Server Product Management Group. "Our joint initiatives like the Ecosystem Lab in Kirkland have been key to demonstrate scalability of 16-way eServer x440 systems running Windows."

"Building on the success of the eServer x440, a leading IA32 platform, Intel and IBM are excited to continue working together to deliver highly scalable platforms for both 32-bit and 64-bit applications. The eServer x450 is ready for customers to deploy now and also provides ISVs a key industry reference platform for application development and tuning," Mike Fister, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Platforms Group, Intel Corporation. "Platforms based on the Intel Itanium 2 processor deliver outstanding performance, reliability and scalability with added costs savings."

Many ISV's are already porting to the eServer x450. "With the new eServer x450, customers get an end-to-end xSeries solution on Windows Server 2003 for enterprise applications like SAP," said Vladimir Sytnykov from Plaut Consulting Inc. "The 64-bit addressing capability helps break database performance bottlenecks that have previously been held back."

"The Itanium 2-based IBM eServer xSeries 450 provides additional systems capacity and increased throughput for SAS environments that move substantial amounts of data or support large numbers of users," said Keith Collins, Chief Technology Officer, SAS. "Our testing indicates that the enhanced design of the eServer x450 with Itanium 2 can result in greater performance for applications such as reporting or data warehousing that have demanding overall system requirements."

The eServer x450 is now shipping starting at $25,999. [3]