New Servers, V4R5 Highlight IBM’s Extreme Business

Calling it the “AS/400e for Extreme Business,” IBM has announced a new line of AS/400e servers amid claims it will feature an expected 20 percent to 30 percent performance boost from the world's first production microchips made of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) transistors and copper wiring.

SOI technology attains that boost by protecting the transistors on a chip with a blanket of insulation, reducing the electrical leakage that wastes power. IBM was the first chipmaker to substitute copper for aluminum in chip wiring to boost performance and now claims to be the first with high-volume SOI manufacturing.

"Silicon-on-insulator and copper chip technologies are a powerful one-two punch for AS/400e server performance," says Doug Grose, VP, IBM Server Development. "Our investments in R&D are paying big dividends for the IBM server business and most importantly, for our customers."

The new AS/400 servers include a high-end enterprise system, the Model 840, that is 3.6 times faster than the previous generation of AS/400 servers. Big Blue is positioning the 840 to handle core B2B applications such as supply chain and customer relationship management, as well as server-side Java, Domino and business intelligence. There are also new servers for the SMB marketthe AS/400e 270, which IBM claims quadruples the performance of its predecessor, and new Dedicated Servers for Domino, optimized to run multiple Domino applications, including e-mail, Web serving and CRM.

OS/400 V4R5 was also announced with support for eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and an eye toward extending applications to pervasive devices such as cell phones and handhelds.

Other highlights include:

  • Java enhancements that IBM claims will deliver up to 65 percent improvements in Java performance
  • Integrated Netfinity Server, featuring a 700 MHz Intel Pentium III, that plugs into the AS/400 to run AS/400 and Windows NT/2000 Server applications on a single server
  • AS/400e series Model 250 entry-level server that includes packaged software designed for industry-specific AS/400 solutions, and RAID 5 capability

For more information on the new servers and OS/400 V4R5, read MIDRANGE Systems May 22 issue.