Network Computing Simplified

New IBM Large Server Operating System to Ship in March

FISHKILL, N.Y., February 20, 1996 . . . IBM today announced availability dates for Release 1 and 2 of OS/390* -- its new, open, integrated, large server operating system. Release 1 will be generally available on March 29; Release 2 will be made available in September of this year.

OS/390 is a network-ready, scalable server operating system -- capable of supporting tens of thousands of transactions per minute, by tens of thousands of users linked together, anywhere, anytime.

This announcement continues the recent transformation of IBM's System/390 -- from a proprietary, mainframe-centric computing environment to an open, scalable, network-centric business server. OS/390 serves as the foundation for additional System/390 Internet-related announcements planned for 1996.

Open, Network Server

OS/390 customers benefit from a single, pre-tested, network-ready operating system that runs both UNIX** and MVS* applications. With OS/390, customers now have a single, simplified source for the planning, installation, integration, application development and management of their system software.

OS/390 replaces MVS/ESA* and more than 30 other related software products and functions, eliminating the need for the typical "piece parts" approach to large server software. As a result, processes are integrated and simplified; and complexity is reduced.

"OS/390 will provide us with a ready-to-run system," said Dennis Dunlap, manager of MVS/Unix system software, Kemper National Insurance. "The integration and pre-testing of products should save a tremendous amount of time getting the operating system into a production environment. With respect to OS/390's core products, IBM has hit it right on the head."

OS/390 provides the latest server functions, integrating the industry's most advanced technologies and services. Open industry standards are supported, as well as client/server and distributed functions, systems management, UNIX* and traditional application and execution environments; Parallel Sysplex*, network computing, object-oriented programming and multimedia.

Specifically, OS/390's Base Server contains core functions from MVS, which recently achieved XPG4 Base Profile Brand certification; as well as application-enabling SOMobjects*, DCE, LAN Services and the Communications Server's TCP/IP and VTAM* -- all contributing to the Internet and network-centric capabilities of the overall product.

Internet Server

Because the Internet involves massive interconnections between enterprises, institutions, customers and individual users, OS/390 and S/390 will play an even more vital role in the future of network computing.

IBM also announced today its intention to port Java*** to S/390. This port will enable Java's popular run-time environment to span the IBM server enterprise -- from PCs to S/390s. Currently, IBM's Internet Connection Server for MVS/ESA* is able to serve Java applications for downloading to Java-enabled Web browsers.

OS/390 Release 1 will also provide customers with a free copy of the OS/390 Internet BonusPak. This package contains the IBM Internet Connection Server for MVS/ESA product, additional homepage templates, tools and manuals -- for easier access to the information superhighway and use of essential, enterprise-wide business and corporate data. The Internet BonusPak affords customers scalable Internet access and extends their potential business reach beyond current system limitations.

OS/390's integrated Communications Server function lends the type of advanced and flexible connectivity that customers in the world of network computing require. These advanced communications functions provide support for the Internet's specialized network requirements and the massive amounts of data and transactions which ensue.

Growing customer demand for full solutions in the world of network-centric computing are causing large enterprises to focus on evolutionary access to corporate and financial data -- over a secure, scalable and reliable environment. The initial uses of the Internet, i.e., the serving of basic information, advertising and homepages are beginning to make way for the "new wave" of full-fledged business and commerce transactions.

OS/390 Release 2 will offer enhanced security and functionality to existing business applications using industry-standard web browsers. This means that customers will be better able to offer secure business services to their customers over public networks -- via enhancements to S/390 CICS*, MQSeries*, DB2*, and IMS*.

Specifically, S/390 Internet support for 1996 includes the following:

As customers move beyond the current uses of the Internet, and corporate data, sensitive financial and personal information are unleashed over the Web, the "true commerce" phase of network- centric computing will begin. Customers will look to S/390's proven and increasingly-important security, reliability and scalability to accomodate these network-enabled applications. S/390 is already gearing up for this industry-wide challenge.

Business Efficiencies

By pre-testing and integrating the more than 30 individual OS/390 base elements into one product, IBM has helped reduce the complexity often associated with software installation and implementation. Consequently, customers benefit from the reduction and/or redeployment of resources, resulting in business advantages for all.

This System Integration Testing ensures that OS/390's base elements and optional functions work together in a full, network-centric, production environment. This involves a variety of distributed systems software, file systems, database managers, as well as vendor-supplied and internally-developed applications.

"OS/390 is 'proof positive' that IBM is listening to and acting upon SHARE members' needs," said Anne Caluori, president, SHARE. "OS/390's integration of products into a pre-tested, pre-validated baseline is immensely attractive. OS/390 offers a powerful suite of systems management tools and answers customers' demand for open interfaces and client/server computing."

Investment Protection

For all S/390 customers, the acquisition cost of OS/390 will be below the sum of the most current versions of the integrated base elements. Yet, customers will see the value of OS/390 go beyond acquisition costs; it impacts customers' total cost of computing as well.

Two customers recently estimated that OS/390 will provide them with an estimated 40 to 60-day reduction in their planning and ordering time. Another customer estimated up to a 60% reduction in installation time, compared to current activities. These reductions are critical to customers' day-to-day business operations and contribute to the overall total cost of computing benefits of OS/390.

The impact on customers regarding software acquisition costs is dependent upon several factors, including whether customers are "current" on all versions of software, if they have exploited new technologies, whether they have only minimal product "stacks" and the group pricing levels they are on.

Because every customer situation differs, OS/390 acquisition costs -- which are only a small part of customers' total cost of computing -- will vary.

OS/390 is attractive to customers for easier, integrated, in-house application development, as well as to software solution developers because it gives them a common baseline from which to develop cost-effective, industry-wide applications for S/390.

"We are very excited about OS/390," said R. Clay Stephenson, director of marketing, Healthcare Division, Alltel Information Services, Inc, a S/390 Partner in Development. "We see it as a major step in reducing the complexity of installation -- and positioning S/390 as the enterprise server for open, multi-platform, client/server environments."

OS/390 will be Year 2000-compliant. This ensures that OS/390 will protect customers' existing business investments -- and better prepare them for the future.

S/390 is part of IBM's Server Group. This group works with other IBM organizations to help customers minimize product integration skills and deliver products that work with other leading vendor offerings. IBM's approach to this open, distributed computing is the Open Blueprint. It consists of industry standards which assure that businesses can build, run and manage applications in a multivendor, network-centric world.

* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.

** UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Limited.

*** Java is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Editor's Note: IBM news releases are available on the Internet, via the IBM Home Page, located at System/390 releases are available via the S/390 Home Page at

The IBM FAX Information Service allows you to receive facsimiles of this, and other IBM product press releases. Dial 1 800 IBM-4FAX and enter "99" at the voice menu. From outside of North America, facsimiles may be obtained by calling 1-415-855-4329.