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IBM introduces new mainframes

IBM beefs up its microchip-based mainframe computer line with the introduction of two new families of System/390 computers.

IBM(IBM) beefed up its microchip-based mainframe computer line with the introduction of two new families of System/390 computers.

These products are for large- and medium-sized businesses looking to exploit the growth of business activity on public and private networks, including the Internet, IBM said.

The S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server and S/390 Multiprise line use the same basic CMOS chip technology found in personal computers and workstations. CMOS allows older, large water-cooled mainframes--based on older chip technology--to be replaced with energy-efficient S/390 Enterprise Servers. The S/390 takes 94 percent less floor space than the older models and can cost 70 percent less to maintain, the company said.

The S/390 Enterprise Server will replace older 9121, 9021, and 3090 systems and other "plug compatible" systems, and it has double the performance of previous S/390 CMOS servers.

The S/390 Enterprise Server runs on a number of different operating systems, including Virtual Machine (VM) and VSE. Using VM, companies can now serve data to customers on the Internet, IBM said.

IBM has also enhanced its clustering technology, which can link up to 32 separate S/390 servers into one enterprise system.

Networking features include the Open System Adapter, which is fully integrated into the S/390, delivering connectivity to ATM, Ethernet, Token Ring, and Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) Local Area Networks.

High availability is provided by the S/390 Enterprise Servers through design features that provide fault tolerance and concurrent repair of subsystems.

In the S/390 Multiprise line there are 13 new general-purpose CMOS machines: seven uniprocessor models, two two-way, two three-way, a four-way, and a five-way machine, each with extensive upgrade capability. All disk configurations with 36GB of capacity and above use "drawer/adapter" mirroring so that there is no single point of repair, the company said.

For data storage, new models of the Ramac Array storage are now available, as well as a tape automation system for general business and network computing customers and a new virtual tape drive for large systems.