IBM Launches World's Most Powerful Eight-Way UNIX Server and New POWER4 Processor

11/22/2002 - IBM introduced the world's most powerful eight-way UNIX® server [1], an affordable system that marks the debut of IBM's next-generation POWER4(tm) technology. Priced 65 percent less than a comparably-configured Sun 3800 [2], the IBM eServer(tm) p650 brings the blazing performance and autonomic computing capabilities of the groundbreaking IBM eServer p690 to the midrange. The eServer p650 has already beat previous records for eight-way Web serving and Java(tm) application performance and beats a comparable Sun server on SAP performance in an Enterprise Resource Planning environment by nearly 50 percent.[3]

The p650 is the first server to include IBM's newest 64-bit microprocessor, POWER4+(tm), which takes advantage of the most advanced 0.13 micron fabrication process and contains over 180 million transistors. This innovative technology yields a new generation of POWER4 chips that consumes a third less power per processor than the latest version of the Sun UltraSPARC III chip at identical frequencies.[4] The POWER4+ chip is available in the p650 with 1.2 and 1.45 gigahertz.

"The p650 will revolutionize midrange servers the same way the p690 revolutionized the high end," said Adalio Sanchez, general manager, IBM eServer pSeries. "Providing customers with a competitive edge through computing performance and the newest POWER4+ microprocessor, the p650 offers uncompromising reliability, high-availability and scalability features leveraged from our award-winning, top-of-the-line IBM eServer p690. In addition, the new POWER4+ microprocessor is very attractively priced, making the p650 extremely affordable."

Goody's Family Clothing, Inc., a Knoxville, Tennessee-based retailer with 328 stores in eighteen states, will deploy two p650s to run inventory and sales data for merchandise management.

"Goody's processes a great deal of information on our servers - everything from prices to inventory - on a continuing basis. We need the best server available from a price-point perspective," said Ken Boyd, director of MIS Technical Services for Goody's Family Clothing. "IBM's p650 is exactly what we are looking for. It is part of scalable and reliable family of servers, and we believe it is going to save our company and employees a tremendous amount of time."

Economical Enterprise Computing
The p650 is a powerful and affordable midrange system ideal for running applications such as enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, customer relationship management and business intelligence at a wide range of organizations -- from small and medium size businesses to divisions of large enterprises, branch offices and e-businesses.

In addition, the p650 offers unprecedented flexibility, with up to eight dynamic partitions. The p650 is designed to run the AIX 5L(tm) operating system, including Version 5.2, and, when available, Linux(R) [5] simultaneously in separate partitions.

The Advantage of Linux on POWER
The IBM eServer p650 will offer native Linux support. Linux on IBM pSeries servers leverages many of the competitive advantages of eServer pSeries hardware while allowing organizations to utilize open, standards-based applications in a cost-effective Linux environment.

IBM also plans to offer e-business infrastructure software that can run on the new Linux eServer pSeries systems, including WebSphere(R) Application Server, DB2 Universal Database(tm) and Tivoli(R) management software. Application development tools are planned to support the new platform, including a Web Services Development Kit which contains IBM's Java Virtual Machine (JVM) technology and 64-bit POWER enabled C/C++ and Fortran compilers.[6]

Through its Linux Technology Center, IBM contributes key operating system features to the Linux open source community that can help improve flexibility, performance, scalability, reliability and bring Linux further into the enterprise. These open source features for use in Linux exploit pSeries systems management, clustering, Internet services and security.

Performance Champion
In key measures, the eServer p650 with AIX 5L is capable of processing over 80 percent more floating point calculations than Sun's V880 based on the Specfp2000 benchmark.[7] And on a key SAP application, the eServer p650 performs nearly 50 percent better than the V880.[8] Other highlights include:

The IBM eServer p650 is competitively priced, starting at $29,995 for a 2-way configuration[12]. Planned availability for the pSeries 650 is December 6, 2002.

[1] Based on the 8-way SAP SD 2-tier, the eight-way SPECjbb2000 and the eight-way SPECweb99 benchmarks. See footnotes [3] and [8]
[2] The 2-way IBM eServer p650 versus 2-way Sun Fire 3800 with 4GB memory, tape, 10/100 Ethernet, DVD-ROM, two 146.8 hotswappable disk drives and standard warranty. The Sun Fire 3800 priced at $98,445 and the IBM eServer p650 priced at $34,095 as of November 10,2002. System configurations compared:

System price:

Total system price:

[3] Based on the SPECweb99 8-way result of 12,400 for the IBM eServer p650 with AIX 5L and 8,739 for the Sun Fire 4800. SPECjbb2000 8-way result of 114,892 for the IBM eServer p650 with AIX 5L and 43,353 for the Sun Fire 6800. Sun result posted on as of November 10, 2002. IBM results submitted to SPEC on November 11, 2002. For SAP benchmark information see footnote [8].
[4] 1.2 GHz IBM POWER4+ processor with peak power consumption of 35 watts per processor. 1.2 GHz Sun UltraSPARC III processor with peak power consumption of 53 watts per processor.
[5] IBM anticipates that one or more Linux distributors will support 64-bit Linux in the first half of 2003.
[6] All statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.
[7] Based on the SPECfp2000 result of 1,295 for IBM eServer p650 with AIX 5L and 697 for Sun Fire V880.
[8] IBM eServer pSeries p650 (8 processors, POWER4, 1.2 GHz, 1.5 MB L2 cache per 2 processor, 64 GB memory) was certified by SAP on November 11, 2002 with the following SAP Standard 4.6C SD application benchmark results: 900 SD benchmark users, 1.97 sec average dialog response time, 90,330 fully business processed line items / hour, 271,000 dialog steps / hour, 4,520 SAPS, CPU utilization of 97% with DB2 v7 and AIX 5L version 5.1. SUN Microsystems Sun Fire V880 (8 processors, UltraSparcIII, 900MHz, 8MB L2 cache, 32GB memory) was certified by SAP on June 17, 2002 with the following SAP Standard 4.6C SD application benchmark results: 600 SD benchmark users, 1.96 sec average dialog response time, 60,330 fully business processed line items / hour, 181,000 dialog steps / hour, 3,020 SAPS, CPU utilization of 99% with DB2 v7 and Solaris 8.
[9] Based on SPECweb99 8-way results of 12,400 for IBM p650 with AIX 5L and the HP rp8400 result of 9,186.
[10] Based on 64-bit processor for integer calculations SPECint2000 benchmark results of 935 for the p650.
[11] Based on the SPECfp_rate2000 result of 82.4 for the IBM eServer p650 with AIX 5L.
[12] Based on U.S. list price for the minimum IBM eServer p650 two-way configuration with 1.2 GHz POWER4+ processors, DVD-ROM, 36.4GB disk drive, 2GB memory, two power supplies, remote I/O adapter, media backplane and SCSI backplane with cable effective December 6, 2002. Prices subject to change without notice. Reseller prices may vary.

The IBM eServer brand consists of the established IBM e-business logo with the following descriptive term "server'' following it. IBM, the e-business logo, AIX, AIX 5L, WebSphere, DB2 and pSeries are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Tivoli is a trademark of Tivoli Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries licensed exclusively through The Open Group. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Java and all Java-based trademarks and logos are trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

SPECweb99, SPECjbb2000, SPECint2000 and SPECfp_rate2000 are trademarks of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC).

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