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IBM Announces #1 UNIX Benchmark and Compelling Economics for HP Users to Switch


Eight Cores of IBM Power Beats 64 Cores of PA-RISC With Just Nine Percent of Energy Costs; Trade-in Program Sweetens the Deal

ARMONK, NY.- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced outstanding new performance results on the new System p(TM) 550 Express, along with an aggressive program that offers customers trade-in credit for replacing competitive machines from HP, Sun and other UNIX(R) vendors.

IBM is specifically reaching out to users who are still buying HP PA-RISC systems, as those customers may no longer be able to buy PA-RISC systems from HP by year end and have so far resisted the migration path HP is proposing to HP Integrity Systems. IBM estimates there are more than 170,000 of these systems still in customer production.

The 4.2GHz POWER6™ processor-based System p 550 Express achieved 629,159 tpmC on an 8-core p550 in a recent TPC-C (measuring the ability of a server to process complex online database transactions) benchmark. The IBM entry-level server was running a single instance of the IBM DB2® Enterprise 9.5 database software on the AIX® 5.3 operating system and using IBM System Storage™ DS3400 Express.

The 629K transaction per minute TPC-C result from a small, energy efficient eight-core IBM p550 offers 16 percent more database transaction performance. An eight-core p550 uses only nine percent of the energy costs compared to a 64-core HP 9000 Superdome PA-RISC 8700 (1) and uses only two percent of the space. The space savings is calculated based on a 64-core HP 9000 Superdome filling two cabinets resulting in a total of 128.9 cubic feet consumed, while the faster IBM p550 is a 4U server utilizing just two cubic feet or 1/10th of one standard 42U rack. Using 56 fewer cores, customers can also save up to 87 percent of the cost of software that has a licensing fee on a per core basis when migrating from the 64-core HP 9000 Superdome solution to the eight-core System p 550 Express.

The new benchmark is also 1.6 times the performance of HP’s Integrity rx6600 using Itanium 2® (2).

The p550 Express has a maximum of eight cores with either a 3.5 or 4.2 GHz POWER6 processor and up to 256 GB of memory. The System p 550 is ideally suited as a mid-sized database server, or as an application server for ERP and CRM applications, or for both when a single physical server is configured as multiple virtual servers. The 256 GB of memory in a 4U form factor offers outstanding capacity for mid-size databases or for UNIX or x86 server consolidations supporting dozens or hundreds of server images, helping to simplify and optimize customer IT infrastructures and reduce server sprawl.

IBM Power™ Systems offerings, now with POWER6 processors, demonstrate IBM’s continued commitment to organizations of all sizes. In addition to energy conservation and virtualization technologies, Power offers industry-leading performance. In fact, IBM is the leader in more than 70 key computing performance benchmarks (3). IBM is also the leading provider of UNIX solutions in the world today and has been number one for 10 quarters in a row (4).

Trade-in program capitalizes on upcoming PA-RISC end of life
In line with these leadership results, IBM last month introduced a program designed to assist customers facing uncertainty about the ability to order new PA-RISC systems after December 31, 2008, and the delay of Sun’s ROCK processor by incenting clients to move to IBM UNIX solutions.

“It is a strong indicator to us that HP customers still buying PA-RISC have for years now resisted HP’s plea to recompile their applications and migrate to the newer HP Integrity architecture. The PA-RISC technology they are still buying is no longer competitive as evidenced by today’s compelling benchmark and the seemingly irresistible economic value proposition of switching to IBM Power,” said Scott Handy, vice president of worldwide marketing and strategy, IBM Power Systems.

“But by year end they may have to deal with the withdrawal of PA-RISC, and those customers need to mitigate the risk of moving the UNIX workloads to another platform. IBM migration specialists have successfully migrated more than 1,000 customers to IBM’s UNIX platform over the last two years.”

IBM is interested in helping HP PA-RISC customers who do not see Itanium as a viable alternative for them to move to the industry’s leading UNIX platform based on IBM Power processors.

IBM sales reps can offer assessments at no cost to PA-RISC customers with no obligation to buy, and customers can use the rebates from trade-ins toward the migration services.

The trade-in program includes a rebate offer of up to $7,200 per server (up from $4,800) for 3.5 GHz models ($900 per core) and up to $9,600 per server for 4.2 GHz models ($1,200 per core) good throughout 2008 for certain HP and Sun and other UNIX server replacements in the US, available now. The amount of the trade-in credit for each replaced machine depends upon the configuration of the replacement machine and represents a combination of the fair market value of the replaced machine and an additional incentive. IBM then recycles the old competitive systems to minimize environmental impact.


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