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POWER6 Processor, Consolidation Appeal, and AIX Solutions Supercharge IBM Power Systems

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IBM today announced new POWER6 processor-based servers for enterprise and SMB clients and updated virtualization and systems management software designed to help clients improve performance, drive innovation, and maximize return on their IT investments.

The new offerings provide a clear alternative to HP, Sun, and other competitive systems by helping customers consolidate their data centers or departmental workloads, increase operational efficiencies, and reduce energy costs, the company said.

An increasing number of companies are choosing IBM Power Systems servers to simplify their IT infrastructures, according to IBM. International Data Corp. (IDC) reports that in the second quarter this year, IBM UNIX (AIX) grew revenue 25.8 percent (year-to-year), outpacing all others, and outgrowing both HP and Sun by wide margins.(1) Clients are using innovative IBM solutions, services, virtualization, and IBM technology--including the POWER6 microprocessor--to manage a broad variety of business applications from multiple servers in large data centers to stand-alone computers supporting the small business franchise.

For example, IBM today announced a new Power 570 with more than twice the performance per core and more than twice the performance per watt as HP's Superdome. (2)

Popular midrange server IBM Power 570 now offers more energy efficiency and consolidation options with new processor cards that double the number of cores in the same system footprint. Starting at just 4 cores, the system can be upgraded to a full 32-core single system image (32-core SMP); and with hot-node add, businesses can install more server modules without having to take the system down when.

IBM also announced that the Power 570/16, which supports from 2 to 16 POWER6 cores, now features faster speeds of 4.4 GHz--and even 5.0 GHz -- the fastest of the POWER6 processors-- previously available only in the top of the line Power 595.

With twice the number of cores for performance and efficiency packed into the same system footprint as previous 570 systems, the Power 570/32 gives users more than 2.4 times the performance per watt compared to the Sun M8000 system. (3)

Helping Businesses Consolidate Workloads

The Power 560 Express is a new POWER6 server model that sits between the Power 550 and Power 570. The Power 560 features 4-, 8- and 16-core configurations and is designed to help businesses consolidate multiple UNIX, IBM I, or x86 workloads onto fewer footprints.

The Power 560 can save companies up to $840,000 and 83 percent in energy by consolidating 13 Sun Fire V490 servers onto a single Power 560 server with PowerVM, as compared to consolidating the same number on four Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 servers with dynamic system domains. (4)

The Power 560 Express provides an 80-percent performance boost and 60-percent performance per watt improvement compared to a 16-core HP Integrity rx7640. (5)

IBM today also announced:

The Power 520 Express and Power 550 Express, providing new 4- and 8-core options for i editions. AIX and Linux users can now add i on the same system.

The JS12 blade server running on IBM BladeCenter can now be pre-installed with i and easily attached to low cost DS3200 storage to create a SAN.

Enhanced RAS features for hot-node add and repair for Power 570 and Power 595 servers, allowing concurrent repair of one node while the system continues to operate, even while PowerHA is mirroring transactions across multiple systems and storage.

The new Power 570/32, 570/16, and 560, expanded capabilities of the Power 550 and 520 systems and the new SAN options on blades all run any combination of AIX, i, and Red Hat or Novell Linux.

Virtualization, Energy Management, and Availability Software

Enhanced Power Systems software for AIX, i and Linux, includes:

A beta version of PowerVM Active Memory Sharing, new virtualization software that helps clients improve memory utilization by pooling resources between partitions.

IBM Systems Director, a new foundation for enterprise platform management, spanning multiple platforms and operating environments. Systems Director helps clients deploy, monitor, analyze, optimize and update Power server and storage physical and virtual resources running any combination of AIX, i or Linux workloads. Systems Director is managed through an intuitive graphical interface and provides upward integration to enterprise service management tools, including IBM Tivoli.

A new version of Active Energy Manager, an extension to IBM Systems Director, featuring advanced energy control options designed to boost performance per watt by slowing processor clock speed or even putting processors in "nap" mode when not in use. It also allows users to set an energy cap a for a single POWER6 server, or even across a pool of POWER6-based servers.

PowerHA for AIX, enhanced with asynchronous GLVM support that enables geographic dispersion of systems to improve business resiliency and disaster recovery.

A new release of IBM iCluster, a high-availability solution based on logical replication, that integrates with IBM i service and fix management tools.

A new distribution agreement with Vision Solutions for IBM to distribute Vision Cluster1, Vision's flagship enterprise cluster management solution for IBM i.

New and updated Rational software for the i operating environment that helps geographically-distributed software delivery teams collaborate.

In addition to IBM Systems Director, IBM recently introduced AIX Enterprise Edition to help UNIX clients discover applications and server relationships, monitor and report service status, manage workload partitions (WPARs), and enable cost analysis of server usage. Systems Director and AIX Enterprise Edition have been designed to provide a full platform management solution for UNIX servers, and to integrate with IBM Tivoli tools for enterprise service management.

"Today's broad set of announcements span performance, virtualization, energy efficiency, availability and management and demonstrate convincingly that IBM is clearly the smart choice for businesses looking to reduce total IT costs, including the often more expensive operational aspects," said Scott Handy, vice president of worldwide marketing and strategy, IBM Power Systems. "With new servers and our systems software offerings moving higher up the customer value chain, we're continuing to demonstrate the added value we provide to customers when compared to HP and Sun."

"We are offering customers more attractive total infrastructure solutions whether they are replacing one workload at a time in a department or are consolidating, simplifying and integrating their IT and moving to a shared infrastructure approach that supports tens or hundreds of applications from one or more groups of users or lines of business."

Zappos.com Chooses IBM Power Systems

Zappos.com is an online retailer stocking more than one million pairs of shoes and handbags, with selections from more than 1,800 brand names. With a focus on service, the company has grown rapidly since its inception in 1999, with sales more than doubling year-over-year, every year since Zappos.com was founded.

From servers to storage, Zappos.com is a true blue customer. IBM Power 570 systems running Linux host the Zappos.com databases, providing the performance and capability required to meet the challenging daily demands of this successful Internet retailer. IBM BladeCenter, IBM System Storage and IBM WebSphere technologies are also deployed by Zappos.com, working with IBM Premier Business Partner Sycomp.

Currently, the company is in the process of updating its disaster recovery site with IBM POWER6 microprocessors and plans to take advantage of IBM Live Partition Mobility continuous availability capabilities for new application development and testing.

"Our number one core value is to deliver 'wow' through service, and we've been committed to outstanding service for Zappos online buyers since day one," said Kris Ongbongan, systems manager at Zappos.com. "We evaluated a variety of vendor solutions and determined that the IBM solution was the right one for us. IBM Power Systems have enabled the infrastructure to grow with our business and have far exceeded our expectations on every front."

Winning UNIX Revenue Share

As industry studies demonstrate, IBM continues to lengthen its lead in revenue share for UNIX and RISC + Itanium (R+I) servers. According to IDC, IBM gained 5.1 points of revenue share with 25.8 percent growth year-to-date in the second quarter for UNIX servers, and holds the number one position with 35.7 percent revenue share, 4.6 points ahead of number-two Sun and nearly 10 points (9.9) ahead of HP. (1) In fact, IBM is the only major UNIX vendor to gain revenue share in the past five years, picking up points while both HP and Sun lost share, the company says.(6) IBM's number one position is even stronger in the 20 designated growth segments. (7)

And in the R+I server space, which features IBM Power Systems servers running on AIX, Linux and i, IBM continues to gain revenue share at the expense of HP and Sun. (8)

Through its Power Systems Migration Factory offering, IBM has helped nearly 1,200 customers migrate from competitive Sun, HP and other platforms to IBM's AIX or Linux on Power, resulting in more than $1 billion in revenues. (9)

IBM has demonstrated that robust and mature technologies such as virtualization have become a key factor in the customer-buying decision. IBM recently reported that a threefold increase in customer adoption of virtualization (10) on its unified Power Systems line of servers is being fueled by customers consolidating additional partitions onto existing servers. This significant leap in the uptake of virtualization--64 percent in the second quarter alone--exceeds by a large margin levels common on x86 systems. (11)

Overall, IBM Power Systems with POWER6 technology have recorded more than 70 industry-leading performance benchmarks, notes IBM.

About IBM

For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com.

_______________________________________ 

(1)IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, August 2008.

(2) SPEC is a registered trademark of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Competitive benchmark results based on SPECint_rate2006 as of October 2, 2008 and published on www.spec.org. Power 570 results to be submitted on October 7, 2008. System data for HP is from the "QuickSpecs HP Integrity Superdome Servers 16-processor, 32-processor, and 64-processor Systems" available here as of October 2, 2008. Systems were compared based on maximum processor configuration because that is the data point for which power requirements are defined. Other configurations could have different performance per watt metrics. IBM Power 570 results are for a system with 16 chips, 32 cores and two threads per core with a SPECint_rate2006 result of 832. The recommended maximum power usage for site planning is 5,600 watts. HP Integrity Superdome results are for a system with 32 chips, 64 cores and 1 thread per core with a SPECint_rate2006 result of 824. The recommended power usage for site planning is 12,196 watts. Performance per watt is calculated by dividing the performance by the maximum system power.

(3) SPEC is a registered trademark of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Competitive benchmark results based on SPECint_rate2006 as of October 2, 2008 and published on www.spec.org. Power 570 results to be submitted on October 7, 2008. System data for Sun is from the "Sun SPARC Enterprise M8000 Server Site Planning Guide" available at http://docs.sun.com/source/819-4203-12/21ch3p.html as of October 2, 2008. Systems were compared based on maximum processor configuration because that is the data point for which power requirements are defined. Other configurations could have different performance per watt metrics. IBM Power 570 results are for a system with 16 chips, 32 cores and two threads per core with a SPECint_rate2006 result of 832. The recommended maximum power usage for site planning is 5,600 watts. Sun Microsystems Sun SPARC Enterprise M8000 results are for a system with 16 chips, 64 cores and 2 threads per core with a SPECint_rate2006 result of 637. The recommended power usage for site planning is 10,500 watts. Performance per watt is calculated by dividing the performance by the maximum system power.

(4) SPEC and the benchmark names SPECrate, SPECint, and SPECjbb are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. The SPECint_rate2006 results can be found at www.spec.org. Competitive benchmark results stated above reflect results published on www.spec.org as of October 2, 2008. The comparison presented above is based on the best performing 8-chip servers currently shipping by IBM and Sun respectively. SPECint_rate2006 results are: IBM Power 560 Express with 8 chips and 16 cores and two threads per core with a result of 363 peak. Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 with 8 chips and 32 cores and 2 threads per core with a result of 264 peak.

Power 560 Express Pricing: $140,955

Power 560 Express Server, Includes 16 Core 3.6 GHz POWER6 Processors 64GB System Memory, 4 x 146 GB SAS Disk Drives, 1 DVD-ROM, 2 Gb Ethernet Ports, and 4 Power Supplies (220 V with N+N Redundancy)

Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 pricing: $181,340 + $64,000 (64GB of memory) = $245,340 times 4 servers = $981,360

Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 Server, Includes 8 Quad-Core 2.4 GHz SPARC64 VII Processors, 4 CPU Board with 2 CPUs each 5 MB On Chip L2 Cache, and 64 GB System Memory (4 Memory Modules with 8 x 2 GB DDR2 DIMMs), 4 x 146 GB SAS Disk Drives, 1 DVD-ROM, 4 Gb Ethernet Ports, 2 I/O Trays with 4 PCI-e and 1 PCI-X Slots, 4 Power Supplies (110 V or 220 V with N+N Redundancy), RoHS-5 Compliant plus Quantity 4 SELX2B1Z $ 16,000.00 - Sun SPARC Enterprise Server Memory Module, 8 x 2 GB DIMMs, 16 GB total memory, for SPARC Enterprise M4000 and M5000 servers, RoHS-5 Compliant Power Consumption: This information for the Power 560 is in "Model 8234-EMA server specifications" available at http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/index.wss - search for Power 560. The power for the Power 560 is 2,400 WATTs. The information for the Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 Server is in the "Sun SPARC Enterprise M5000 Servers Site Planning Guide" available at http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/coll/m5000-hw. The power requirement for the M5000 is 3,738 WATTS. Four M5000 servers times 3,738 watts equals 14,952. 83% more power than one Power 560 at 2,400 Watts.

(5) SPEC and the benchmark names SPECrate, SPECint, and SPECjbb are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. The SPECint_rate2006 results can be found at www.spec.org. Competitive benchmark results stated above reflect results published on www.spec.org as of October 2, 2008. The comparison presented above is based on the best performing 8-chip servers currently shipping by IBM and HP respectively.

SPECint_rate2006 peak results are: IBM Power 560 Express with 8 chips and 16 cores and two threads per core with a projected result of 363. HP Integrity rx7640 with 8 chips and 16 cores and 2 threads per core with a result of 201. Performance per watt is calculated by dividing the performance by the recommended maximum power for site planning. Actual power used by the systems will be less than this value for all of the systems. The information for the Power 560 is in "Model 8234-EMA server specifications" available at http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/index.wss - search for Power 560. The power for the Power 560 is 2,400 WATTs. The power requirement for the HP integrity rx7640 is 2128 watts and specifications are available at http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12470_div/12470_div.PDF. Hence, the performance per watt for the Power 560 Express is 151.3 and the performance per watt of the HP Integrity rx7640 is 94.5.

(6) IBM is the only major vendor to gain revenue share in the UNIX segment for the past five years (+11.2 points) while both Sun (-1.9 points) and HP (-5.7 points) lost share. (Source: IDC) IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, August 2008.

(7) IBM's #1 UNIX position is stronger in the 20 growth markets (40.3% share for R4Q 2Q08 vs. 34.9% for the G7 countries). The BRIC subset is even higher at 43.0%. (Source: IDC) IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, August 2008.

(8) In the R + I server space, IBM has gained 4.8 points of share in this space in the past five years on a rolling, four quarter basis, while HP has lost -3.1 points and Sun -2.7 points. In the past five years, IBM has achieved 17.0% revenue growth, while HP revenue declined 7.9% and Sun declined 8.0%. (Source: IDC) IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, August 2008.

(9) Source: IBM internal numbers.

(10) Worldwide IBM data from online configurators used by IBM sales personnel, customer and business partners to order Power Systems. 2Q 2008 data includes all unified Power systems (POWER6-based). 2Q 2007 data includes POWER5-based System p.

(11) IBM calculation divided the 150,000 new x86 servers shipped with virtualization sourced from Gartner Group presentation, "Server Virtualization for x86: Trends, Best Practices and Future", Page 5 delivered at Gartner Infrastructure Operations & Management Summit by Thomas Bittman, June 23-25, 2008 by 8,841,052 total x86 server units shipped in 2007 sourced from Gartner Quarterly Statistics, July 2008. Virtualization attach rate for x86 in 2007 = 150,000 / 8,841,052 = 1.69663% = 1.7 percent.

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.

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