IBM Announces System/390 for the Nineties
Broadest Features, Functions, Hardware Options
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. -- September 5, 1990 -- In its most comprehensive announcement of products, features and functions in more than a quarter century, IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced System/390(A) -- the industry's most advanced integration of system architecture, design, technology and function.
System/390 -- with its broad array of product options -- is designed to satisfy computing needs for the Nineties as defined by IBM's customers who want to manage their information system resources better and integrate them with strategic business processes for competitive advantage.
In addition to a new, enriched family of Enterprise Systems Architecture/390(A) operating systems, a new connection architecture and many functional enhancements, System/390 introduces the IBM Enterprise System/9000(A) family of 18 new processors -- including the most powerful the company has ever offered. The new processor family provides significant price-performance gains and flexible growth options spanning a 100-fold performance range increase from the smallest model to the most powerful.
"New hardware and software functions focus on almost every aspect of enterprise-wide computing, extending the customer's ability to interconnect systems of varying types and allowing end users to access data wherever it may reside in an enterprise," said IBM Senior Vice President George H. Conrades, head of the company's U.S. Marketing and Services organization.
"System/390 offers customers more flexibility, greater ability to manage global networks, and unprecedented levels of security, while protecting their investments in current systems. And that means a new world of computing usefulness and economy."
The new ESA/390(A) architecture and new MVS/ESA(A), VM/ESA and VSE/ESA operating systems, along with new technologies, facilitate the function and computing power of System/390.
Among the functional highlights are:
-- Enterprise System Connection (ESCON)(A) architecture that implements high speed fiber optic channels, allows customers to locate traditional "computer room" equipment anywhere within a 9-kilometer (5.6 miles) radius, and facilitates any-to-any connectivity;
-- System management and system availability enhancements that reduce planned and unplanned outages, allow reconfiguration of channels and input/output equipment without impacting the system, and provide functions that help customers move closer to the goal of 24 hours/7 days a week operation;
-- Enhanced enterprise-wide security functions, with integrated cryptography at central processor speeds, that are especially suited to high-speed, high-volume transmission of sensitive information such as financial transactions;
-- Very high performance supercomputing vector options for the most powerful ES/9000 models, as well as new cost-effective vector facilities on intermediate processors, making advanced scientific and technical applications affordable to many customers for the first time;
-- Software enhancements that speed application development, better manage distributed data, and help move applications from one system or network to another;
-- New client/server hardware and software products designed to simplify the management and coordination of an enterprise's local area network environment;
-- On-line transaction processing capabilities that can improve applications linking thousands of remote terminals and huge databases, such as those in airline reservation and banking systems, and
-- A unique external time reference system that connects and synchronizes separate IBM processors in a multi-system complex (sysplex) and allows customers to operate them as one system.
At a press conference here, Terry R. Lautenbach, IBM senior vice president and general manager, IBM United States, characterized today's announcement as "far reaching, a blockbuster.
"IBM's goal with System/390 is to provide tangible value to our customers," Lautenbach said. "Its scope underscores our worldwide commitment to leadership in function and the application of technology. And it's a safe bet that System/390 will be enhanced over time.
"We're working with more than 250 software providers and IBM business partners," Lautenbach noted. "Today many of them will be offering new System/390-based solutions for our customers. More than 1500 applications are involved. These applications will enhance customer value in such areas as cooperative processing, performance monitoring, connectivity and industry-specific applications."
The range of ES/9000 growth options -- from the family's smallest rack-mounted office system, Model 120, to the very high performance Model 900 six-way multiprocessor -- helps to ensure smooth transitions for customers as their computing requirements change.
In typical configurations, prices for larger models of ES/9000 processors are as much as 23 percent lower than IBM Enterprise System/3090(A) (ES/390)(A) Model J processors of comparable computing power. Price-performance improvements in mid range and low-end ES/9000 family processors range up to 50 percent when compared with IBM's earlier Enterprise System/4381(A) (ES/4381)(A) and Enterprise System/9370(A) (ES/9370)(A) processors.
Major Software Advances
Programs and applications based on the widely used System/370(A) architecture for IBM ES/3090, ES/4381 and ES/9370 will run effectively on ES/9000 and the ESA/390 operating systems with little or no modification, thus protecting customers' existing investments in software as they grow and move upward in the new, higher-function family.
For the first time, MVS/ESA, IBM's most powerful operating system -- previously available only to users of its larger systems - also becomes available to intermediate system customers.
New functions under MVS/ESA support customer growth by providing many systems management enhancements, including dynamic reconfiguration, cooperative processing, advanced program-to-program communications, and the ability to access data in another system.
In addition to MVS/ESA, the new VM/ESA and VSE/ESA operating systems are supported on all ES/9000 models. VM/ESA consolidates the three previous VM systems into a single, interactive platform and provides new function such as increased workstation synergy with host systems, data in memory, and improved systems management.
VSE/ESA offers customers more real and virtual storage, extensive new capabilities for transaction processing applications, and expanded affinity with MVS/ESA. It meets many Systems Application Architecture(A) (SAA)(A) standards.
Customers will be able to enhance their ability to access and manage data and networks with new releases of DATABASE 2 (DB2) and Structured Query Language/Data Systems (SQL/DS). These programs extend user access to distributed relational data. IBM also announced new software tools that enhance natural language query facilities and the ability of Information Management System/ESA(A) (IMS/ESA)(A) and DB2 to coexist. Networking products such as Virtual Telecommunications Access Method(A) (VTAM)(A) and NetView(A) also have been improved with function that provides customers increased flexibility.
Among the cost-effective and performance-efficient solutions that will be available to all ES/9000 customers is logical partitioning with IBM's Processor Resource/Systems Manager(A) (PR/SM)(A), a standard function on all models. Logical partitioning allows customers to divide processor resources into separate operating environments and that, in turn, permits production processing to go on while applications development, program testing and other applications and different operating systems are running at the same time.
Customers also will be able to interconnect the new processors with IBM RISC System/6000(A), Application System/400(A), Personal Computer, and Personal System/2(A) local area networks. End users throughout the customer enterprise can share data more readily and have greater access to central databases.
New controllers and communications software offer customers increased flexibility in linking IBM and non-IBM workstations and computers used in local area networks with ES/9000 host processors.
New technologies enhance ES/9000 function. They include high-speed fiber optic channels with IBM's new ESCON architecture, ultra-dense circuits and circuit packaging that allow higher performance, integrated encryption/decryption for sensitive data, extended supercomputing capabilities, and twice the processor memory previously available.
All models in the family embrace ESA/390, ESCON and fiber optic channels, and the new family of ESA-based operating systems that maximize innovative new technology and function and provide improved price performance.
The new high-speed fiber optic channels and IBM's ESCON architecture allow customers -- for the first time -- to locate traditional "computer room" equipment anywhere within a 9-kilometer (5.6 miles) radius from the central processor without going through a telephone network.
By using all the new capabilities of IBM's connection architecture, a customer can "enlarge" a computer room through exploitation of other existing space even if it's not adjacent. For example, tape and disk storage controllers can be installed in a different building.
Other technology innovations contributing to ES/9000 performance and function include:
-- New ultra-dense logic chips that contain both complex logic circuitry and high-speed memory arrays on the same chip;
-- A new Thermal Conduction Module (TCM) for circuit packaging that allows more circuits to be housed in less space, and
-- Up to 1 gigabyte (a billion characters) of central storage and 8 gigabytes of expanded storage for the largest models, double the capacity previously available. This makes possible dramatic expansion of enterprise-wide database and on-line transaction processing applications.
ES/9000 Model 900 provides 1.7 to 1.9 times the processor performance of IBM's ES/3090 Model 600 J (IBM's previously most powerful multiprocessor) in commercial applications; 2.0 to 2.7 times in scalar, and 2.0 to 2.8 times in vector supercomputing performance.
In general, scalar processing involves a single arithmetic operation per computer instruction. In vector processing a single computer instruction is capable of performing multiple arithmetic operations. Both are used in technical computing. Vector processing is most often associated with supercomputing, or numerically intensive applications, such as experiments in particle physics.
Among the intermediate processors, for example the ES/9000, Model 170 provides up to 2.4 times the internal commercial performance and up to 4.6 times the internal scientific performance of ES/9370 Model 90. Model 480 has over 4.0 times the internal performance of the ES/4381 Model 92E in commercial applications.
Applications are portable across the entire line, from the ten air-cooled models through the eight water-cooled models, and migration to the new ESA/390 operating systems can be readily achieved by most customers.
Customers using selected processors based on IBM's previous System/370(A) architecture are being offered unprecedented upgrade paths to System/390 processors and the advanced function of ESA/390.
Users of IBM ES/3090 models have two migration paths to ES/9000 models. They may move directly from ES/3090 J models to higher-function ES/9000 models, or entry-level ES/3090 uniprocessor users may upgrade to five newly announced ES/3090-9000T transition models.
Customers with ES/9370 systems installed can upgrade to three new ES/9000 models. Users of ES/9370 and ES/4381 systems will find significantly improved performance in air-cooled models of ES/9000 and can also expect savings in space, power consumption and air conditioning requirements.
Basic purchase prices for the air-cooled processors of ES/9000 range from approximately $70,500 to $3.12 million, with general availability of some models this month and others phased in later this year and next.
Basic purchase prices for the water-cooled models range from $2.45 million to $22.8 million, with general availability of most models beginning this month.
The new version of MVS/ESA will be available next month. VSE/ESA will be available in December of this year, and VM/ESA next March.
(A) -- System/390, ESA/390, ES/9000, MVS/ESA, Multiple Virtual Storage/ESA, VM/ESA, Virtual Machine/ESA, VSE/ESA, Virtual Storage Extended/ESA, Enterprise Systems Connection Architecture, ESCON, ES/3090, ES/4381, ES/9370, S/370, Systems Application Architecture, SAA, DATABASE 2, DB2, Processor Resource/Systems Manager, PR/SM, IBM RISC System/6000, Personal System/2 are all trademarks or registered trademarks of IBM Corporation.
CONTACT: Amos A. Kermisch of IBM, 914-435-1960, or after Sept. 5: 914-642-4668
Copyright 1990 PR Newswire Association, Inc.