IBM Unveils Industry's First Systems that Rewrite Economics of 'Industry-Standard' Computing

All-new class of independently scaling x86 system breaks constraints of 30-year technology design; slashes costs
(PresseBox) (ARMONK, N.Y, ) IBM today introduced the first systems that shatter technical barriers to offer dramatically more scalable, workloadtuned computing on the x86 platform. The company's new eX5 servers are the result of a threeyear engineering effort to improve the economics of operating enterprisesized, industrystandardbased systems.

The eX5 portfolio marks IBM's second family of 2010 systems designed for a new generation of demanding workloads and to significantly reduce costs of existing IT infrastructure. They are being previewed today at the CeBIT trade show in Germany and will be officially rolled out later this month and throughout the year.

The new systems ride a wave of market share growth for IBM. IBM gained more share than any of the major x86 server vendors in each quarter of 2009, according to IDC, and now holds 19.6 percent factory revenue share -- a 3.5 point yearoveryear gain. According to IDC, IBM also significantly outperformed the blade market in 4Q09, recording yearoveryear revenue growth of 61.5 percent in blades and gained 5.4 revenue share points. The overall blade market's factory revenue grew 17.3 percent.*

An Engineering First Alters Economics of x86; Offers Dramatic New Scale

Drawing on decades of experience in enterprise systems design and silicon packaging, IBM engineers have radically expanded the capabilities of the x86 platform by achieving an engineering first - decoupling memory from its traditional, tightly bound place alongside the server's processor, eliminating the need to buy another server to expand memory resources. This allnew class of x86based system offers six times the scalability available today - flattening the everrising cost of operating industrystandard data centers.

For example, the amount of data ingested by today's average webbased workload (online marketing; customer service, ie) doubles every year, increasing costs and straining resources. Users have traditionally dealt with the deluge by using the only method available to their industrystandard platforms -- throwing more servers at the problem, furthering sprawl, power and management costs. To deal with the physical sprawl, users then attempted to virtualize their physical x86 infrastructure (overloading memory capacity) on servers that were only being utilized at 20% of capacity due to 30yearold architecture that locks processor and memory together.

With eX5, the economics are changed. Users get a flexible, highly scalable system that can reduce the number of servers needed by half; cut storage costs 97% and licensing fees by 50%.

Acxiom Corp. is a leader in interactive marketing services and early user of eX5 systems. The company counts among its clients seven of the top ten retail banks and nine of the top ten auto makers. Acxiom analyzes massive amounts of rapidly ballooning consumer data on behalf of its clients - four petabytes one year ago; seven petabytes just six months ago; and more than ten petabytes of data today. Acxiom now has 22,500 servers.

"The IBM eX5 systems are game changers," says Acxiom CIO David Guzman. "We've been able to double our virtualization capacity, dropping our software licensing costs. The price/performance equation is extraordinarily compelling, with five times the performance at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, there is a positive impact on all of the other key components of IT cost -- space, power, labor, maintenance. The concrete results of this next generation machine are exciting, and the roadmap has 'knockyoursocksoff' vision."

Special Chip Unleashes Extreme Memory Performance

A unique IBM chip allows processors on eX5 systems to access the extended memory very quickly, an industry first and a leap forward that greatly reduces latency between memory and processor. The IBM X-Architecture chip is in its fifth generation with eX5 and leverages decades of IBM experience in integrating microscopic components to create firstofakind silicon solutions.

With independent memory scaling offering 600% more memory than is available across the industry today, and unique, nextgeneration flashstorage technology, the eX5 portfolio of systems will display economyaltering capabilities:

-- Delivers 30times better database performance than the current generation of systems;
-- Offers 99% better performanceperwatt;
-- Replaces an older, less reliable generation of IT with highly optimized solidstate drives that slash storage costs up to 97% by replacing hundreds of harddisk drives and thousands of wires and cables.
-- Run 78% more "virtual servers" for the same license costs;
-- Slash middleware and application expenses dramatically. The costs of a Microsoft database environment can be cut by 50%. SAP performance can increase up to three times.

eX5 Breakthroughs Packaged in Blades and Racks To Meet Variety of Workloads & Price Points

IBM will introduce three new eX5 systems throughout 2010 -- an ultrascalable, fourprocessor version; a new blade design; and an entrypriced server capable of enterpriseclass operation that will become the most powerful twoprocessor server on the market.

IBM's new eX5 systems feature additional breakthroughs that improve the reliability, availability and security around x86 workloads:

- FlexNode feature allows a single system to dynamically become two distinct systems or back again;
- Scheduled Provisioning: Run interactive applications by day and batch jobs by night on the same system;
- Greater security: The ability to isolate workloads keeps users up and running even when one system fails.

Systems Director management suite has been upgraded to keep pace with eX5 technology and will allow users to preconfigure servers, remotely repurpose systems and set up automatic updates and recoveries. In addition, IBM is planning to offer simplified Lab Services to help clients migrate to eX5 systems and maximize virtualization and database performance.

IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing arm of IBM can help new and existing System X customers step up to the new X5 technology with flexible financing offerings that include the upgrade, takeout and disposal of existing leased and owned servers regardless of manufacturer.

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