September 17, 1999


Somers, NY — IBM has launched a dynamic lineup of UNIX products and programs for customers ranging from fast growing service providers and “NetGen” companies to the data centers of large corporations. IBM said this massive commitment will vault the company ahead of Sun Microsystems as the leader in UNIX technology and performance.

Specifically, IBM is:

— using its innovative copper chip technology to deliver the RS/6000 S80, reportedly the world’s most powerful e-business UNIX server;

— introducing a powerful “thin” RS/6000 server for fast growing Internet and application service providers;

— garnering widespread support from leading software developers;

— extending AIX’s leadership as a powerful UNIX e-business platform and adding the ability to run most Linux applications;

— strengthening the RS/6000 SP with new, more powerful nodes;

— opening four new Project Monterey porting centers;

— as previously announced, merging with Sequent, the worldwide leader in NUMA technology.

“When UNIX customers look for the world’s best e-business solutions, they’ll find them at IBM,” said Rod Adkins, IBM general manager of RS/6000. “IBM has new technology, new products, new partnerships and a new attitude. We’re serious about UNIX and we’re going to prove it.”

IBM is bringing together servers, technology, software, storage, partnerships and financing in what the company said was its most significant UNIX announcement ever.

RS/6000 S80: The 64-bit RS/6000 S80 uses up to 24 microprocessors built with IBM’s innovative copper chip technology to set new world records for Web serving, Java performance and enterprise resource planning (ERP). The RS/6000 S80 more than triples the performance of the RS/6000 S70 Advanced. IBM’s 24 copper chips also surpass the performance of servers from Sun that use up to 64 microprocessors. In addition, a Sun E10000 with 64 microprocessors and 64 gigabytes (GB) of memory costs about 50 percent more than an RS/6000 S80 with 24 microprocessors and 64 GB of memory.

The S80, with its leading Web performance, is designed to meet the rigorous demands of enterprise applications, such as ERP, business intelligence and customer relationship management. which are rapidly evolving to the Web.

IBM also introduced the RS/6000 HA-S80, a clustered version of the S80 for customers requiring the industry’s best high-availability UNIX solution.

RS/6000 B50: Code-named Pizzazz, the IBM RS/6000 B50 — along with its companion, the Netfinity 4000R — is built expressly for the needs of Internet and application service providers. Its low cost, rack-mountable form factor along with attractive terms and conditions are tailored to the needs of these fast-growing businesses. At just 3.5-inches high, the B50 fits easily into an industry-standard rack. B50 features a choice of operating systems including AIX and Linux and a variety of popular service provider applications such as Web hosting, firewall, caching and messaging.

Complementing the RS/6000 B50 is an aggressively priced, high-density storage subsystem, the 2104 Expandable Storage Plus (ESP), code-named Oyster. With this new storage solution, a single 5.25-inch, rack-mountable drawer gives service providers more than 1/3 of a terabyte of data storage, enough to store three floors of academic journals at a university library. To ensure maximum uptime, and provide uninterrupted growth, additional disk drives and drawers can be added while the system is running. Redundant power and cooling also is available. An integrated B50-ESP solution is ideal where Web serving performance and storage capacity are critical business success factors.

New RS/6000 POWER3 SMP nodes and T70 Technical Server: Both commercial and scientific customers using the IBM RS/6000 SP now can upgrade to even more powerful POWER3 SMP nodes. Compared with their predecessors, the new nodes deliver:

— four times the number of processors

— four times the memory

— eight times the peak memory bandwidth

— 18 times the maximum disk capacity

— 26 times the number of I/O adapters compared with their predecessors.

These nodes are ideal for solving large scientific problems or for complex decision support.

The RS/6000 T70 Technical Server uses the new POWER3 SMP nodes in a compact form factor and is ideal as a departmental server for handling numeric- and I/O-intensive applications such as computer-aided engineering, computational chemistry and seismic analysis.

Software support: In addition to IBM, more than 35 leading software developers, including Oracle and SAP, are announcing support for the new RS/6000 lineup.

AIX 4.3.3: Included in the new release of AIX, IBM’s top-rated UNIX operating system, is the AIX Workload Manager, offering features derived from IBM’s mainframe servers. It simplifies system management for users who choose to consolidate multiple workloads onto a single RS/6000 server. Workload Manager uses a customer-defined set of business priorities to direct system resources to key workloads, allowing customers to smoothly manage unpredictable demand, such as spikes in Internet traffic. This will allow ISPs, for example, to manage quality of service levels among different applications so they can improve their compliance with service level agreements.

IBM also announced plans to deliver the ability to run most Linux applications on RS/6000s with AIX 4.3.3 in the first half of next year. This capability will be delivered as a no-charge, open-source download.

Project Monterey: IBM will open a Project Monterey porting center in San Mateo, California this fall. Three additional porting centers — in Waltham, Massachusetts; Hursley, England and Stuttgart, Germany — are expected to begin operation next year.

Project Monterey is an IBM-led initiative to develop an enterprise-ready, high-volume UNIX that runs on IBM and Intel microprocessors.

At the centers, software developers may port and tune applications for today’s Monterey products including IBM’s AIX and SCO’s UnixWare, and may also prepare their applications for migration to Monterey for forthcoming Intel IA-64 processors. IBM will outfit the centers with IBM RS/6000 and Netfinity servers along with servers from other hardware vendors.

Solution Series for ERP: IBM also announced today it is extending its Solution Series for ERP — a two-year performance protection plan for ERP software running on RS/6000 — to ERP programs from PeopleSoft and QAD. Under this plan, IBM will provide customers with additional processor or memory upgrades — or both — if a covered RS/6000-ERP solution doesn’t perform as agreed.

Merger with Sequent: On July 12, IBM announced it entered into a merger agreement with Sequent. Sequent is an acknowledged leader in systems based on NUMA (non-uniform memory access) architecture. NUMA is advanced hardware and software that allows large numbers of processors to operate as a single system while maintaining the ease of programming and manageability of a small system.

The completion of the merger is subject to Sequent shareholders and regulatory approvals.

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