New IBM Software Protects Critical Business Systems From Costly Disruptions

IBM WebSphere Delivers High Availability Through Advanced Self-Managing Capabilities

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ARMONK, NY - 06 Oct 2004: IBM today announced new software designed to help safeguard Internet business applications against outages that can cost companies as much as $110,000 per minute in lost revenue and productivity. This capability is one of many new advances in the latest version of IBM WebSphere Application Server, the market-leading Internet infrastructure software, that are meant to help companies efficiently build flexible, standards-based IT infrastructures that allow them to respond quickly to new market conditions and opportunities.

Version 6 of WebSphere Application Server is designed to automatically detect problems -- from small network glitches to power failures or natural disasters -- and in a matter of seconds save and process Web-based business transactions that could take hours or days to recover under older systems.

WebSphere Application Server Version 6 is the first J2EE application server -- a layer of standardized "middleware" above the operating system on which other software programs run -- to deliver these types of simultaneous automatic detection and recovery capabilities together.

The financial impact of IT system downtime per hour varies by industry but losses can quickly exceed millions of dollars per hour. For example, the cost averages $6.5 million per hour in the retail brokerage industry, $2.6 million in credit card authorizations, $90,000 in airline reservation centers, $28,000 in package shipping services, $27,000 in manufacturing and $17,000 in banking, according to independent studies.(1)

IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 can help protect Internet business applications built on it, from a mortgage processing system to an automaker's supply chain application, with advanced autonomic computing capabilities from IBM. Autonomic computing enables self-managing IT infrastructures with hardware and software that can configure, heal, optimize and protect themselves. By taking care of many of the increasingly complex management requirements of IT systems, autonomic computing allows companies to focus their resources on business matters.

After detecting an outage, IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 automatically redirects data to a different designated "fail-over" server. That server can be within the same data center, or, in a more serious power failure or disaster, WebSphere Application Server can move the information via the Internet to a completely different location.

Improved protection against extended application downtime is among an array of advances in the new software. Numerous companies, government agencies and other organizations rely on IBM WebSphere Application Server, which holds the worldwide market share lead in Java-based application servers and several related categories of infrastructure software, according to major analyst firms.

Other new capabilities include:
To save time and trouble for developers who build applications with WebSphere Application Server, Version 6 includes a new "wizards"-based, drag-and-drop environment that automates the most common and tedious steps of application development and deployment. By eliminating hand coding, developers can significantly reduce the number of programming steps previously needed to build an application. These features also allow developers to build and test applications once and deploy them across many disparate systems.

IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 provides customers better scaling so more concurrent users can access an application built on the software. This can help reduce administrative and licensing costs for companies and provides better flexibility to quickly bring additional user resources onboard.

WebSphere Application Server has been a leader in advocating support for Web services standards that allow more automated, less hand-coded cross-platform computing. New standards support includes WS-Security, which authenticates communications between web services, and WS-Transactions, which is designed to assure that Web Services transactions are consistently delivered. Additionally, WebSphere Application Server Version 6 supports the WS-I Basic Profile 1.1 for development of interoperable Web services supporting the integration of Web services solutions. WebSphere Application Server also supports 30 operating system platforms, the most in the industry.

IBM WebSphere Application Server Version 6 allows companies to take further advantage of IBM innovation and standards-based technologies to drive down costs, create new opportunities for growth and have the flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to business change as part of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) strategy.

SOAs are collections of interconnected business functions, processes and services that can be mixed and matched on the fly -- through reusable, industry-standard software components rather than silo-ed, manually-coded ones. This enables businesses to work faster and more efficiently with the ability to integrate applications and data with customers, partners and suppliers. WebSphere Application Server is designed to more easily integrate with customers' existing systems, regardless of the underlying technology, and allows customers to grow from a single Web service to an enterprise wide SOA deployment.

A key architectural component of an SOA is an Enterprise Services Bus (ESB), which provides the connection infrastructure for business transactions to flow from application to application in an SOA. WebSphere Application Server Version 6 dramatically simplifies the task of connecting WebSphere applications to an ESB. The release features new messaging capability that performs dramatically faster then previous versions and integrates seamlessly with the existing IT infrastructure.

"There are many business and technical benefits to the new version of WebSphere Application Server, but none as important as the capability for a company to respond quickly and effectively to changing business conditions, which can provide a competitive advantage," said Robert LeBlanc, General Manager, IBM Application and Integration Middleware Software.

IBM today concurrently announced WebSphere Application Server - Express, targeted to smaller and mid-size companies and sold largely through Independent Software Vendors and other suppliers.

As a result of customer demand, there is now greater consistency in the WebSphere Application Server family from top to bottom, including in the Express version. Such features include support for J2EE 1.4 across the family, which makes it easier to develop and deploy applications using industry standard tools, and support for the latest Web Services standards, making it easier to integrate applications inside the enterprise as well as externally with customers, partners and supplier.

Availability for both WebSphere Application Server Version 6 and WebSphere Application Sever Express Version 6 is expected before the end of the year.

IBM also announced that IBM WebSphere Extended Deployment Version 5.1 -- designed to automatically optimize the performance of companies' software and hardware, on demand, particularly during unexpected spikes in usage or changing market conditions -- is expected to be generally available on Oct. 22. A beta program for the software had been announced in June.

Also, new versions of the development tools IBM WebSphere Studio Site Developer and WebSphere Studio Application Developer are currently planned to be available in the fourth quarter. They will be re-branded as IBM Rational Web Developer for WebSphere Software and Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software. Other new software offerings expected before the end of the year include new WebSphere Portal software, new host access and WebSphere Everyplace Access and WebSphere Everyplace Connection Manager mobile middleware.

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