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IBM Brings Power of World’s Fastest Chip, Efficiencies of New Virtualization Technology to SMB Customers

IBM Expands Hardware and Software Portfolio to Help Companies ’Virtualize’ Technology Resources to Save Money, Energy, and Space

(PresseBox) (Armonk, NY, ) IBM (NYSE:IBM), today announced it is bringing its POWER6™ microprocessor-based technology to small and medium-sized customers and delivering new virtualization offerings designed to help those customers consolidate server capacity, save energy and more effectively manage their IT costs.

A "virtualized" approach to computing is designed to allow corporations around the world to reduce energy consumption by as much as 80 percent1, better manage system growth, and achieve total cost of ownership reductions of up to 72 percent2.

Virtualization technology allows multiple server functions to run on fewer servers. For example, one server could run many operating systems and simultaneously host several business applications. Deploying these virtualization capabilities can help lower IT costs and business risks, increase efficiency and flexibility, simplify deployment and management, enhance overall business resilience and enable new forms of innovation.

Addressing these requirements, IBM introduced today a new virtualization platform – PowerVM™ Express – specially made to enable customers to better manage their IT costs, drive maximum energy efficiency and increase resource utilization. PowerVM provides virtualization solutions for the broadest range of operating systems in the industry, including AIX® -- IBM's UNIX® operating system, Linux®, and i5/OS® for System i™ customers.

When combined with new POWER6 microprocessor-based System p™ servers and BladeCenter® servers – designed specifically for small and medium-sized businesses – customers can create up to 160 virtual partitions in a single system, dramatically improving the utilization of the servers.

"Virtualization has typically been in the domain of large enterprises. Today we aim to simplify the adoption of virtualization technologies, making it available to small and medium-sized businesses," said Scott Handy, vice president of marketing and strategy, IBM Power™ Systems. "The capabilities we deliver when combining IBM's leadership virtualization software and POWER6 technology in our new offerings take us beyond just world-class performance and allow us to help clients build more efficient businesses by saving time, space and money."

PowerVM software – formerly known as Advanced POWER™ Virtualization (APV) – is now available in Express, Standard and Enterprise Editions. New to all three PowerVM editions is a feature – at no additional charge - that allows System p servers to run Linux x86 binary applications unmodified without recompilation, in addition to UNIX and Linux on POWER applications.

According to IDC, spending on virtualization software and services is expected to exceed $15 billion worldwide by 2011, up from $6.5 billion in 2006.3 Forrester says that awareness of virtualization by medium to large-size businesses jumped from 60 percent to 86 percent in one year.

Many of the attributes of virtualization technology, a mainstay in many IBM large systems for more than 40 years, are now being utilized by customers large and small. Nearly 70 percent of IBM POWER6 processor-based System p servers use PowerVM technology today. In addition to systems management and cost benefits, the PowerVM platform provides customers with new options to improve system and application availability, allowing reductions or elimination of planned downtime.

While competitive virtualization offerings in the industry are limited to supporting Intel processor-based servers, IBM’s leadership innovation with the POWER6 microprocessor and PowerVM virtualization software enables customers to partition below the processor level to one-tenth of the processor.

OSRAM SYLVANIA, a leader in lighting solutions and specialty products that feature innovative design and energy-saving technology, was reaching server capacity and wanted to avoid costly upgrades to their existing systems. The company was challenged to significantly reduce operating costs as they implemented a new five-year strategy. IBM System p servers, PowerVM virtualization technology, and migration services from IBM provided the right solution.

"Upon researching the problem, we were convinced that IBM offered the best support for the transition, the best technology for operations, and the best strategy for long-term development," said Jeffrey Ruck, director of IT infrastructure services, OSRAM SYLVANIA. "In two separate projects, we were able to consolidate a total of 61 UNIX and x86 servers from HP and Dell to 11 System p servers running AIX. The IBM Migration and x86 Server Consolidation Factory teams spearheaded the project, and as a result system response is twice as fast, the CPU footprint has been reduced by a factor of four, and we're able to deliver better business results with less power and less cooling, and with significantly lower license costs."

In addition to the introduction of PowerVM today, IBM also announced:
- Two new POWER6 processor-based UNIX servers, the entry-level System p 520 Express and entry-level System p 550 Express, both built to handle mission-critical business workloads and both expected to entice additional Solaris and HP/UX customers to switch to IBM.
- A new release of the i5/OS operating system, IBM's flagship operating environment for small and medium-size clients using the System i™ platform with new support for the IBM BladeCenter® POWER6-based JS22 blade server.
- First-time support for the BladeCenter JS22 and JS21 Express blade servers with AIX and Linux in the breakthrough office-friendly BladeCenter S chassis, designed for smaller firms and distributed enterprises.
- A new x86 Server Consolidation Factory offering, built on the success of previous IBM Migration Factory offerings, designed to help customers migrate from competitive x86 platforms to IBM System p with the new PowerVM virtualization software.

1. Based on IBM Study. The virtualized system count and energy savings were derived from several factors: A performance factor of 2.79X was applied to the virtualization scenario based on SPEC® results source: System p 570 (16-core, 8 chips, 2 cores per chip, 4.7 GHz) SPECint_rate2006: 466, as of 8/20/2007; HP Integrity rx7640 (16-core, 8 chips, 2 chips per core, 1.6 GHz) SPECint_rate2006: 167 as of 8/20/2007. A virtualization factor of 3X was applied to the virtualization scenario using utilizations derived from studies conducted by Alinean available at (PDF, 74 KB). A factor of 2X was used to represent the ability to install two 16-core System p 570 systems in a single rack. Power consumption figures of 5600 W for the IBM System p570 and 2128 W for the HP rx7640 were based on the maximum rates published by IBM and the typical maximum power consumption published by HP. Source for the HPIntegrity rx7640 information is QuickSpecs HP Integrity rx7640 Server dated August, 2007. It can be found at (314 KB). Air conditioning power requirement estimated at 50% of system power requirement. Energy cost of $.0928 per kWh is based on 2007 YTD US Average Retail price to commercial customers per US DOE at as of 8/20/2007. Datacenter floor space cost was estimated as of 8/20/2007 based on Alinean, Inc.'s ROI Analyst software. The reduction in floor space, power, cooling and software costs depends on the specific customer, environment, application requirements, and the consolidation potential. Actual numbers of virtualized systems supported will depend on workload levels for each replaced system.

2. "Impact of IBM System p Server Virtualization," Transforming the IT Value Equation with POWER6 Architecture. International Technology Group, May, 2007. Study methodology: Companies in financial services, manufacturing and retail with $15 Billion+ revenues focusing on UNIX large enterprise environments with multiple, broad-ranging applications. Study compared the cost of the company's workloads running on multiple vendor servers and employing minimal virtualization to the cost of the company's workloads running on System p 570 (POWER6 processor-based) as well as POWER5+ processor-based servers - all using Advanced POWER Virtualization (APV). APV is standard on System p5 590 and 595. Other System p servers have the option to add APV except the System p5 185. This cost analysis was performed for financial services, manufacturing and retail example environments with an overall average savings of up to 72% in TCO savings by virtualizing and consolidating on the System p servers. Total Cost of Ownership may not be reduced in each consolidation case. TCO depends on the specific client environment, the existing environments and staff, and the consolidation potential.


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Sources: All results current as of 6/10/08.

(1) IBM Power 595 (5 GHz, 32 chips, 64 cores, 128 threads) with IBM DB2 9.5 TPC-C result of 6,085,166 tpmC ($2.81/tpmC, configuration available 12/10/08) vs. HP Superdome (1.6 GHz, 64 chips, 128 cores, 256 threads) with Oracle 10g TPC-C result of 4,092,799 tpmC ($2.93/tpmC, configuration available 08/06/07).

(2) Energy comparison is maximum energy usage in WATTS. HP usage from HP Integrity Superdome Quickspecs at as of June 6, 2008

(3) SW Licensing savings based on IBM PVU pricing. Itanium processors have a PVU of 100 per core and POWER6 has a PVU of 120 per core. Therefore with 66% less cores, but pricing that is 20% higher per core, the licensing cost is 66% / 1.2 = 55% less. More information about PVU pricing is available at

(4) Floor space comparison is in square feet. HP data is from HP Integrity Superdome Quickspecs at as of June 6, 2008

(5) Gartner, Inc. "U.S. Data Centers: The Calm Before the Storm" by Rakesh Kumar, September 25, 2007