IBM Propels Industry's Only Open Blade Server Into the Mainstream Datacenter With New Enterprise Features

IBM Debuts BladeCenter for UNIX; Adds Internal SCSI Drives, Power Management and Performance Advances; Demand for Open Spec Grows Dramatically in First Month

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ARMONK, NY - 08 Oct 2004: IBM today announced the early success of opening the IBM eServer® BladeCenter(TM) specification and new models packed with technology breakthroughs to further extend the system's enterprise capabilities.
Forty-nine companies have received the BladeCenter open specification since Intel and IBM's joint announcement on September 2. The open specification grants free and open access to the design specifications for developers and partners of BladeCenter. In the first month of opening the specifications, IBM quadrupled the number of partners who have received the BladeCenter specifications in the last two years.

IBM also unveiled six new models of its BladeCenter and BladeCenter T compatible systems with increased speed, power management and OS support to excel in today's rigorous datacenter environment.

IBM's Intel Xeon-processor EM64T-based BladeCenter
In a design breakthrough, IBM is now providing the capability of adding two small form-factor SCSI drives internally to the five new HS20 models of BladeCenter systems based on the 2.8 GHz to 3.6 GHz Intel Xeon-processor with 64 bit extensions. This allows the BladeCenter chassis to fit 14 SCSI-based blades far exceeding the density any other such offering in the marketplace. As a result, the new SCSI drives can provide up to 85 percent more speed and up to 83 percent more capacity than the prior IDE drives. Also, customers benefit by now being able to mirror each blade's operating system, simultaneously attaching to a storage-area network to run high-availability applications.

IBM has added new I/O expansion flexibility to the BladeCenter HS20, allowing customers to add two hot swappable SCSI disk drives while doubling the number of Ethernet (8) or fibre channel (4) port connections to each blade.

"It is exciting to see how far BladeCenter has evolved since its introduction as a unique, well-designed architecture two years ago," said Jeff Benck, vice president, IBM eServer BladeCenter. "By adding internal SCSI drives to BladeCenter, we expect more customers to tap BladeCenter to take on mission-critical functions that demand the reliability of SCSI. BladeCenter has matured into a solid ecosystem of servers, management, switching, software, and solutions, helping customers excel in the on-demand world."

IBM's POWER processor-based BladeCenter
IBM also announced today significant enhancements to its POWER(TM) processor-based BladeCenter systems, offering clients higher performance and the ability to run IBM's most advanced UNIX® operating system -- AIX 5L(TM) V5.2.

The new eServer BladeCenter JS20, now available with 2.2GHz POWER processors, offering more than 37 percent improvement in processor speed compared to the previous offering with 1.6GHz processors. It offers clients more performance to handle commercial workloads such as file and print serving, Web serving and collaboration in addition to high performance computing (HPC) numeric intensive workloads on UNIX and Linux OS platforms. In addition, Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) instructions provide exceptional performance for compute-intensive floating point applications. Clients can take advantage of this feature by using two new IBM compilers, the IBM XL C/C++ Advanced Edition V7.0 for Linux and the IBM XL Fortran Advanced Edition V9.1 for Linux.

Applications that can take advantage of SIMD include bioinformatics and proteomics in the life sciences industry as well as seismic, digital imaging, and financial services applications. Enhancements to the BladeCenter JS20 systems are designed to meet the growing client demand for high-performance, 32-bit and 64-bit UNIX and Linux commercial and technical computing applications.

Significant advances in power and cooling
IBM is introducing power management software, PowerExecutive(TM), the first product in a rapidly evolving roadmap focused on reducing the costs of power in the datacenter. PowerExecutive is part of the BladeCenter management module and helps IT teams better manage blade power consumption by:

BladeCenter's superior density and expanded feature set are made possible by its innovative chassis architecture as well as the thermal design itself, called Calibrated Vectored Cooling(TM). As perhaps the industry's most advanced cooling architecture, Calibrated Vectored Cooling optimizes the path of cool air flow through the system. Customers benefit from this compact design with an increased ratio of servers per chassis that cuts the cost of the shared networking infrastructure and further simplifies the solution.

A new module of UpdateXpress software, a powerful update/installation tool for IBM's line of servers, now provides a unified point to update and install all BladeCenter networking switches and modules as well as server components. UpdateXpress offers one interface for easier blade management and is accessed through IBM Director, the awarding-winning BladeCenter systems management software.

Customer successes
The momentum of BladeCenter is further demonstrated by these customer success stories from around the globe:

Availability and Pricing
General availability of the BladeCenter HS20 system is November 12. Starting price is $2039. General availability of the BladeCenter JS20 system is October 29. Starting price is $2699.