IBM Transforms Intel-Server Market With New Mainframe-Inspired Technology

Breakthrough Xtended Design Architecture With "Calibrated Vectored Cooling" Delivers Mission-Critical Performance and Reliability in New 64-bit Capable xSeries Server Line

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ARMONK, NY - 02 Aug 2004: IBM today raised the bar in the $23.2-billion server market for x86 Intel processor-based computing with the introduction of new "scale-out" IBM eServer xSeries servers that for the first time include additional sophisticated, high-performance features inspired by legendary IBM mainframes and supercomputers. (1)

IBM's eight new products, based on Intel's new processors with 64-bit extensions announced today, represent the largest launch of volume-based servers in the IBM eServer xSeries line since its inception four-years ago. IBM unveiled a new blade server (eServer BladeCenter), one-way and two-way servers, workstation (IntelliStation Z Pro), an upgrade of IBM Director, and a unique package of features -- the Xtended Design Architecture, which, together with IBM TotalStorage storage products, provide customers with the most comprehensive set of solutions for Intel-based computing.

"Shattering the myth that x86 servers are commodity products, IBM's new product line transfers more high performance computing innovations to our mainstream xSeries line than ever before," said Susan Whitney, general manager, IBM eServer xSeries. "IBM xSeries is once again making mission-critical functionality and manageability available for a new set of customers."

Since these 32-bit to 64-bit extended systems access larger amounts of memory and create added power, thermal and maintenance requirements, IBM has developed Xtended Design Architecture, a feature package that extends the capabilities of IBM's current X-Architecture(TM) design principles to the scale-out and distributed 64-bit environment. These include:

-  Calibrated Vectored Cooling™, perhaps the industry's most advanced
   systems-cooling architecture based on decades of IBM systems
   engineering, optimizes the path of cooled air flow through the
   system. With such a highly effective and holistic approach to
   cooling, IBM has been able to pack its new 64-bit-extended systems
   with offerings unmatched by the competition:
   -  IBM completely redesigned its thinnest "pizza-box size" or 1U
      servers to take on true application server capabilities for the
      first time. Deploying 1U servers for application server
      environments will enable customers to double the density of
      their application servers saving critical floor space and
      associated costs.
   -  1U application serving is provided by adding new mission-
      critical capabilities such as hot-spare hard drives for greater
      fault tolerance. IBM also upped its memory expansion slots from
      four to eight dual in-line memory modules (DIMM), providing
      greater affordability and flexibility and in some cases
      doubling what competitors currently offer.
   -  IBM increases the I/O expansion capabilities of its two-way 2U
      rack server by one-third by integrating core functions such as
      RAID and advanced systems management.
-  IBM's fourth-generation Light Path Diagnostics™ now provides
   externally visible failure alerts without opening the system. This
   advance, driven by IBM mainframes innovation, represents the x86
   market's most comprehensive and easy to use autonomic system,
   including failure alerting for processors, hard drives, power
   supplies, fans and voltage regulator modules (VRMs).
-  "Screwdriver-free" Simple Swap or hot swap replacement of drives
   for all products adds greater ease-of-use in x86 servers. The x336,
   for example, offers advanced ease of use for 1U servers via rear
   access hot-swap redundant power.

"Based on its decades of technology innovation, IBM has designed the most holistic x86 systems on the market," said Randy Miller, infrastructure manager, Graybar Electric. "With new reliability features like predictive failure analysis and redundant power and cooling, we can limit downtime and therefore maximize employee productivity better than ever before."

"With IBM's modular and flexible technology and built-in reliability features in the eServer BladeCenter, we can increase our IT capacity better than ever before," said Anicelso Bissoli, IT Services Principal at Petrobras, one of the largest oil companies in the world. "We are significantly reducing our IT costs using a high-performance cluster of 252 BladeCenter systems."

Integration with IBM TotalStorage Products
IBM offers a range of IBM TotalStorage products as options for the new xSeries systems to provide integrated solutions supporting improved price performance and scalability. IBM is also targeting the release later this year of new entry-level, low cost disk storage products to provide even more storage options for easy and low cost integration with xSeries brand rack-mounted servers, including the new eServer x336, eServer x346 and BladeCenter systems. The new storage is planned with choices of iSCSI or Fibre Channel interfaces, and single or dual controller models.

New version of IBM Director
IBM is releasing IBM Director Version 4.20, an integrated suite of software tools for consistent, single point of management and automation for IBM eServer xSeries, BladeCenter, pSeries and iSeries, as well as heterogeneous environments through IBM Virtualization Engine, Tivoli, HP OpenView and CA UniCenter. The version 4.20 upgrade includes expanded Linux support, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 and aggregated, color-coded health status for easy system assessments. Other capabilities include single-click configuration and group support for software rejuvenation, enhanced security for remote console and power control, and additional standards-based alerting.

Operating systems and software
IBM has taken a proactive role in developing the ecosystem around the new 64-bit extensions by engaging scores of independent software vendors on porting to the systems. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, Novell SuSE Enterprise Linux Server 9 and Microsoft's current 32-bit operating systems support the new processors as well as the new Microsoft 64-bit OS when it becomes available. DB2 "Stinger" will support the new servers for Linux distributions. DB2 "Stinger" has additional Linux exploitation features that can be realized on the systems. IBM is planning on delivering a preview of DB2 "Stinger" on Windows for Extended Systems on the 64-bit extended servers before the end of 2004. When the new servers are coupled with IBM Virtualization Engine, customers can manage IBM and many non-IBM systems, clusters of systems and Grids that might span several countries.

The new IBM eServer systems, x206, x226, x236, x306 and x336, x346, are available for order immediately with general availability planned for the third quarter. The new IBM BladeCenter and IntelliStation Z Pro systems are planned to have general availability this month.