November 13, 2001

IBM delivers first pre-packaged Linux clusters for e-business

Author: JT Smith

IBM today introduced the industry's first
pre-packaged Linux clusters, providing customers a quick and easy way to
implement Linux solutions for e-business. The IBM eServer Cluster
integrates best-of-breed components into a single, easy-to-order and
-deploy package.

Combining IBM eServer xSeries Intel processor-based servers with
high-performance cluster management software derived from IBM's UNIX
systems, the IBM eServer Cluster can be shipped with as few as four servers
and can grow to encompass massive Linux systems powerful enough to meet any
customer need. IBM is already building Linux clusters with more than 1,000
nodes.

The IBM eServer Cluster has been tested to ensure interoperability and
maximum performance in e-commerce environments such as Web infrastructure
and collaboration/email. IBM offers comprehensive services and support for
the clusters, including installation and ongoing maintenance.

IBM also extended its range of cluster offerings by enhancing its
industry-leading UNIX-based IBM eServer Cluster sytstems, which are
powered by pSeries servers running the AIX operating system.

"Linux is the fastest-growing operating system, spreading quickly in the
world of business computing, while AIX is the fastest-growing UNIX
operating system," said Dave Turek, vice president, emerging technologies,
IBM Server Group. "We are bringing the IBM eServer Cluster products to
market as customers increasingly ask for ready-made solutions, not an
assortment of piece parts."

Business-Critical Software

IBM labs have tested key Linux business applications on the IBM eServer
Cluster 1300 for performance, compatibility and reliability.
Applications include:

-- High Availability. Software from Mission Critical Linux, Inc.,
SteelEye Technology, Inc., and Polyserve, Inc. provide failover technology
designed to avoid downtime. Sophisticated interfaces allow customers to
implement customized reliability functions.

-- e-Commerce. The IBM WebSphere suite of e-business infrastructure
software helps businesses manage high volume transactions, integrate
business processes, and create, deploy and manage e-business applications.

-- Database. IBM's DB2 Universal Database provides a powerful data
management solution for a broad spectrum of business applications. DB2
supports very large parallel databases essential for business intelligence
applications and scientific workloads.

-- eMail. Sendmail's complete line of Linux messaging, hosting and
routing products offers a robust email solution that supports many users on
a single server.

-- Transaction Processing. Warp Solutions' Transaction Session Manager
improves e-business transaction speed by quickly and efficiently routing
requests from front-end Web sites to back-end databases.

-- Workload Management. Platform LSF software enables clusters to process
tasks more efficiently, and provides monitoring and reporting tools that
deliver constant, up-to-date information about the state of the cluster
environment.

IBM is working with other software vendors and plans to announce additional
applications in the future.

IBM eServer Cluster 1300's Best-of-Breed Components

A computing cluster is a collection of servers that are connected by
hardware and software to perform as a single integrated computer system.

IBM eServer x330 and x342 Intel processor-based servers, running Red Hat
Linux 7.1, supply the processing muscle for the Cluster 1300. The servers
are harnessed together with IBM's cluster and file system management
software, derived from the renowned IBM SP supercomputer. The SP first
gained fame in 1997 when it defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in a
history-making chess match.

Built upon the system management tools and commands of the IBM SP
supercomputer, IBM Cluster Systems Management for Linux enables
administrators to manage hundreds of clustered servers efficiently and cost
effectively. Key administrative functions in the cluster, such as
operating system installation and configuration, may be performed from a
central point of control. The software enables operators to monitor and
control hardware and keep configuration files synchronized across all
servers. It also provides a leading-edge infrastructure for
high-availability, as well as a balanced architecture for optimal cluster
performance.

IBM's highly-available General Parallel File System for Linux provides
shared access to files across nodes in the cluster. Scaling to nine
terabytes, the system allows customers to quickly and easily access huge
amounts of data on a cluster.

Optional high-performance switch technology from Myricom provides the
physical connection between the servers in the IBM eServer Cluster 1300.

IBM eServer x330 and x342

The IBM eServer x330, used for compute processing in the IBM eServer
Cluster 1300, is the industry's most powerful thin server, with support for
high-performance dual processing (with Intel Pentium III processors),
unique Cable Chaining Technology and self-management tools. The x330
includes up to 4GB of 133MHz ECC SDRAM memory, and up to 72GB internal
hot-swap storage capacity.

The x342, used as the central management and storage nodes in the Cluster
1300, is a slim, space-saving 3U (5.25") server featuring Intel Pentium III
1.25GHz processors with up to 4GB ECC SDRAM memory and up to 440.4GB
internal storage capacity with an optional three-pack Ultra160 hot-plug
expansion kit and a total of 5 PCI slots. The x342 rack system also
includes self-managing technologies from IBM's Project eLiza initiative and
supports the IBM Remote Supervisor Adapter to simplify remote system
management by providing around-the-clock access.

An eight-node IBM eServer Cluster 1300 -- including 8 cluster server nodes,
one management server node, Red Hat Linux operating system, switching, and
custom factory integration -- costs $85,000. The cluster will be available
in the United States on November 26.

IBM eServer Cluster 1600

Leveraging the cluster and file management software and ultra-fast switch
from the IBM SP supercomputer, the UNIX-based IBM eServer Cluster 1600
enables IBM to create systems with up to thousands of microprocessors that
incorporate IBM's mid-range, high-end and high performance UNIX servers,
all managed from a single point of control.

IBM Service and Support

IBM provides a full range of services and support for the IBM eServer
Cluster -- from complete installation to assigning a single point of
contact for all support issues.

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