IBM Unveils New RS/6000 -- the S80

IBM Corp. is launching a series of new RS/6000-related products, services and software today, including new Unix servers designed to compete with Compaq Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc. in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) market and at the high end of the Unix market.

The new products and services are available immediately worldwide, according to Mike Borman, vice president for RS/6000 worldwide, in an interview with IDG News Service here today.

The products being announced today include its B50 Unix server for ISPs and ASPs (Application Service Providers) with a form factor designed so that 20 of them fit into a standard telephone rack, code-named Pizzazz. While IBM has offered RS/6000s for these customers before, in the past, the size of those servers has prevented IBM from taking a significant share of the market, according to Borman.

At the high end of the Unix market, IBM is announcing a new server, called the S80, designed for companies running ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. Borman describes it as the highest performing RS/6000 ever available from IBM. The S80 will come with 64G bytes of main memory, said Borman.

At the same time, IBM is announcing improved performance and more compact form factors for Power3 microprocessors. The so-called Nighthawk Node will allow customers to configure those Power3 microprocessors in up to 8-way configurations, said Borman.

In addition to the hardware announcements, IBM also announced the newest version of its RS/6000 operating system, AIX 4.3.3. The new system is designed for enhanced Internet performance and allows system to prioritize the resources, so that the memory and other system resources are not necessarily distributed on a first-come-first-served basis, said Borman.

Pricing information was not yet available at the time of the interview.

More details will be outlined at a press conference today in New York, at which IBM is expected to announce a software strategy enabling applications to run on the IBM AIX, Monterey, and Linux operating systems.

[See, "IBM Courts ISPs with Multiplatform Apps Plan," September 13.]IBM Corp., in Armonk, New York, can be reached at

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