April 21, 2006 14:29 ET

IBM Launches New System x Servers and Software Targeting Large Scale x86 Virtualization

IBM Clients Deploying 1,000 Virtual Machines a Day on IBM X3-Based Systems

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 21, 2006 -- IBM today announced it would address unprecedented demand for large scale x86 virtualization technologies with System x™ scaleable servers featuring its Enterprise X-Architecture technology -- X3 -- and new software to help clients speed their virtualization efficiencies.

Currently, IBM clients deploy on average a total of 1,000 virtual machines a day on their IBM X3 architecture-based x86 systems, and internal research indicates more than half of IBM's x86 customers intend to deploy virtualization technology before year end. In 2005, IBM more than doubled its customer engagements for virtualization on x86 systems.

In response to the growth of virtualized systems, IBM today introduced System x, an evolution of its xSeries® product line, to help customers move to a systems-based approach to x86 computing. IBM announced three high-performance systems designed to deliver the greater virtualization, utilization and performance focus required in this market segment.

"IBM has the hardware, software and services capabilities required to provide enterprise class virtualized solutions to our most demanding clients," said Susan Whitney, general manager, IBM System x. "IBM's strong partnership with industry leaders like VMware as well as its own Virtualization Engine technologies that are built into System x, allow us to deliver the innovative solutions needed to help customers drive efficiencies in their business operations."

IBM, working with leading software providers, offers clients the industry's broadest set of virtualization capabilities including a single integration point for purchase, installation and support. IBM supports hardware, hypervisor, and operating system software as a single solution stack; server application-level software support can be purchased for an incremental fee. IBM management tools provide customers with a single integrated and consistent method of managing physical and virtual machines.

Based on IBM's Virtualization Engine technologies, IBM also unveiled breakthrough software that recognizes untapped utilization and hidden servers across clients' networks and helps identify opportunities to consolidate and virtualize x86 systems. More than 600 IBM Business Partners have been certified to use the IBM Consolidation Discovery and Analysis Tool or CDAT. Tools such as CDAT have enabled IBM Business Partners to accelerate virtualization adoption with more than 65 percent of our virtualization client engagements coming from business partners. Combined with IBM Director, the new software creates a powerful portfolio of datacenter automation and virtualization tools for the x86 segment.

Traditionally each x86 server runs only one application and therefore can have a low utilization rate such as 8 to 12 percent. By pooling, managing and optimizing IT resources across servers, virtualized systems can improve the economics and operations of under-utilized IT assets. The CDAT software has helped hundreds of customers identify and improve performance and in cases even quadruple a client's computing utilization.

CDAT software helps create a single dashboard to simplify and view a client's computing utilization rates. Through the LAN, the software automatically scans resources on the IP network to discover all the computing systems across a client's datacenter -- including UNIX, mainframe and x86 servers. It maps the topology for the systems infrastructure, including the operating systems, utilization rates, and performance rates. The map helps identify operational cost savings for clients.

"IBM CDAT has helped us add great value to our client engagements and has enabled us to achieve a 90 percent win rate with customers. By utilizing the tool, we are able to offer our customers a view of their entire global network infrastructure," said Vic Verola, director of Sales for IBM Business Partner, Vicom Computer Services. "While competitors rely on benchmark data and guess work, IBM's automated data collection and performance analysis process ensures accurate identification of long-term solutions for our customers, to help ensure maximum operational cost savings."

"IBM's CDAT software has been instrumental to Berbee's ability to articulate the value of virtualization and consolidation for each client's specific environment," said Scott Severson, vice president, Systems and Storage for IBM Business Partner, Berbee Information Networks. "After analyzing the output from CDAT, we are able to determine which applications make good candidates for virtualization, identify consolidation opportunities for high-performance applications and ultimately offer the client a technical recommendation with a full TCO analysis. We have been able to show significant reduction in TCO and help our clients position themselves as 'On Demand' organizations."

New System x for Scale-up x86 Computing

IBM has announced three high-performance systems -- System x3950, System x3850, System x3800 -- all designed to deliver enterprise class capabilities for server consolidation and scalable database, ERP and CRM applications.

These systems are based on the third generation of IBM's Enterprise X-Architecture technology--X3, designed to reduce administrator costs and improve operational efficiencies in high-transaction processing enterprise environments.

The advanced capabilities of these "scale-up" products, have helped IBM lead the high-performance x86 space in the 8Way+ segment of the market worldwide for 14 consecutive quarters according to IDC (1).

Pricing and Availability

IBM's new systems for the high-performance enterprise computing segment of System x will be available in May 2006, for virtualization, database, ERP and CRM applications.

--  System x3950 -- Featuring high-performance capabilities, flexible
    partitioning and mission-critical availability, ideal for database, ERP and
    server consolidation; starting at US $17,499. (Formerly x460)
--  System x3850 -- Compact four-processor server for 64-bit and mid-tier
    software applications; starting at US $6,999. (Formerly x366)
--  System x3800 -- High-performance, multi-purpose server with large
    internal storage capacity, ideal for remote and branch-office solutions;
    starting at US $4,999. (Formerly x260)
Working together, System x and IBM storage can help customers create a virtualized environment with management across the entire IT infrastructure, reducing the operational risk of implementing complex solutions. System x servers are supported by the broad range of cost effective IBM disk, tape, software, and storage networking solutions.

Additional x86 systems for a variety of business computing needs will be introduced as part of the System x portfolio in the coming months.

IBM Systems and Technology Group

IBM systems facilitate the sharing of servers, storage and networking resources to create true on demand operations that enable businesses to collaborate more efficiently and securely. IBM Systems and Technology Group delivers innovative solutions for the increased collaboration between companies and institutions that has begun to blur the traditional lines of information technology. New technologies like virtualization, open standards and encryption help organizations and their partners share information in real-time and collaborate seamlessly on innovative applications ranging from designing automobiles and aircraft to discovering new medicines.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key IBM Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of on demand business. For more information about IBM, visit

IBM, System x, xSeries, Xtended Design Architecture, Enterprise X-Architecture and the IBM logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. For a list of additional IBM trademarks, please see All other company/product names and service marks may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

(1) Source: IDC Server Tracker Q405.

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