25 Reasons Why Hardware Is Still Hot at IBM

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25 Reasons Why Hardware Is Still Hot at IBM

by Darryl K. Taft

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The Worlds Top Server Vendor

IBM is the world's No. 1 overall server vendor, with 32 percent revenue share for full year 2009, according to Gartner, and 32.9 percent revenue share according to IDC.

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Linux on the Mainframe

IBM first announced Linux software and services for the mainframe on May 17, 2000. As the 10th anniversary of this announcement approaches, more than 70 of the top 100 worldwide mainframe customers run Linux.

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NFL BladeCenter Servers

Many of the National Football League franchises (as well as the Super Bowl) run on IBM BladeCenter servers.

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Servers Win Energy Stars

IBM's Power7-based 750 Express and Power 755 model servers are the first four-processor systems in the industry to qualify for the federal government's Energy Star status.

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Namibia Mainframe

The First National Bank of Namibia acquired a System z mainframe computer on Nov. 7, 2009—the African nation's first mainframe.

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Storage Surge

Storage is the No. 1 priority for IT spending in 2010, according to Barclays Capital, and IBM leads the tape and disk storage segments.

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Smart Grid

A major IBM partner, eMeter, a leading maker of software that runs smart electrical grids, uses IBM Power7 systems to process the extreme amount of data that comes in from millions of smart meters while analyzing that information on the fly.

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The X Factor

IBM experienced the largest x86 server growth—3.5 percent year over year—of the top five server vendors in Q4 '09 and now holds 19.6 percent revenue share, according to IDC. It was IBM's fourth consecutive quarter of revenue share gains.

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Team USA

Engineers for Team USA (U.S. Olympic Team) rented time on IBM supercomputers to digitally simulate and redesign the bobsled—nicknamed Night Train—that won gold at the Vancouver Olympics.

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National Technology Medal

President Obama recognized IBM and its Blue Gene family of supercomputers in 2009 with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the country's most prestigious award given to leading innovators for technological achievement.

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Beating the Competition

IBM says that through its Power Systems Migration Factory offering, it has logged more than 2,100 customer wins in its Power servers from 2006 through 2009, including nearly 1,050 versus Sun and nearly 825 versus HP, generating more than $2.15 billion in revenue.

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Searching for Cures with Power7 Servers

Scientists at Rice University in Houston are using high-performance computing technology, based on Power7, to collaborate with researchers across Texas on studying cancer, AIDS and other diseases.

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Roadrunner Tackles Tough Questions

Roadrunner, an IBM supercomputer running at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the machine that first broke through the petaflop barrier, created the largest family tree of HIV ever produced in an effort to help develop a vaccine for the disease. In another use, Roadrunner simulated the Big Bang in an attempt to figure out how dark matter came to pervade the universe and predicted five times more dark matter than astronomers have observed to date.

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Power to the People

In February 2010, IBM introduced new Power7 systems to address the special demands of emerging applications that require processing an enormous number of concurrent transactions and data while analyzing that information in real time—such as smart electrical grids and real-time analytics for financial markets.

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XIV Grid Storage

IBM acquired XIV, a scalable grid storage system, in 2008 and with it gained one of the leading storage system architects in the world, IBM Fellow Moshe Yanai. IBM added more than 400 new clients to its XIV platform in 2009, more than 20 percent of which were new to IBM.

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At the Helm

IBM Systems and Technology Group—which encompasses all aspects of IBM's semiconductor, server, storage and system software—is led by 30-year IBM veteran Rod Adkins. Adkins was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2005.

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Green Machines

IBM supercomputers are the most energy-efficient in the world, according to the Supercomputing "Green500 List" announced in November 2009. Eighteen of the top 20 most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world are built on IBM high-performance computing technology.

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Squeezing the Cost Out of x86 Servers

IBM's new eX5 servers are the result of a three-year engineering effort to improve the economics of operating enterprise-size, x86-based systems. IBM says that with six times more memory scalability, eX5 systems integrate with IBM middleware to create a highly virtualized environment that can reduce the number of servers needed by half while cutting storage costs 97 percent and licensing fees by 50 percent.

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Record-Breaking Tape Storage Density

In January 2010, IBM announced a new record in tape data density of 29.5 billion bits per square inch—about 39 times better than today's most popular magnetic tape products.

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Training the Next Generation

Approximately 650 colleges worldwide have joined IBM to offer coursework in IBM System z—up from just 24 in 2004. Over the past five years, more than 56,000 students have participated in mainframe education.

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Tops in Supercomputers

IBM leads the supercomputer market with more than 45 percent share, according to IDC. IBM's revenue in this segment rose 37 percent in 2009.

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IBM: The Power Behind the Gamers

IBM Power-based processors are at the heart of every major gaming platform—Playstation 3, Xbox and Nintendo Wii. IBM has shipped tens of millions of processors for these systems.

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A RISC History Lesson

In 1980, IBM built the first prototype computer employing RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture. Based on an invention by IBM scientist John Cocke in the early 1970s, the RISC concept simplified the instructions given to run computers, making them faster and more powerful. Today, RISC architecture is the basis of most workstations and Unix servers and is widely viewed as the dominant computing architecture of the future.

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IBM Unix Gains Market Share

IBM is the only major Unix vendor to gain share (plus 12 points) in the past five years, while both HP (minus 4 points) and Sun (minus 3 points) lost share, according to IDC.

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