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Bull Unveils World's Fastest UNIX Server, Upgrades Mid-range UNIX Line; Adds New Solutions for e-Enterprise Computing.

BILLERICA, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 4, 1999--

New Escala EPC2400 is world's fastest UNIX server; mid-range Escala

E230, T430 models excel at ERP, e-commerce. New software includes

workload management, enhanced HA, UNIX/NT interoperability

Bull marked an industry milestone today with the introduction of the world's fastest UNIX server, the Escala(R) EPC2400. The company also strengthened the mid-range of its Escala family of symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) 64-bit servers and added a host of new software solutions targeting e-commerce and other applications. All server and software solutions are available immediately.

The new high end of the Escala range is the EPC2400, which offers exceptional performance through the combination of the high-speed 450 MHz RS64 III PowerPC(R) processor, 24-way SMP scalability and large memory. The new the E230 is a best-in-class 64-bit mid-range server with up to two 64-bit PowerPC RS64 II processors designed for e-commerce, ERP, data marts and demanding workgroup applications. Also announced is the Escala T430, a powerful deskside server that delivers outstanding business value and cost-effective performance to meet the needs of small/medium businesses and departments of larger enterprises.

The Escala EPC2400 runs AIX(R) version 4.3.3 - developed in cooperation with IBM -- which contains important new features such as workload management and other performance enhancements. The new systems also include enhanced high availability (HA), UNIX/NT interoperability, enhanced COBOL for UNIX, and storage management. The E230 and T430 run AIX version 4.3.2, and are currently under qualification with AIX version 4.3.3.

"These announcements confirm Bull's unwavering commitment to provide customers with business-critical solutions based on the industry's most advanced and powerful UNIX systems," said Marilyn Guhr, director of marketing & sales support for Bull's North America Server Division. "Our goal at the high-end of the Escala line is to address rapidly evolving markets such as enterprise e-business, server consolidation and data center renewal. At the same time, we're meeting the needs of customers undertaking enterprise-wide deployment of large ERP, OLTP, database and Internet applications."

New Escala Systems Deliver Optimum Performance, Scalability, Flexibility

With three and a half times the power of the Escala EPC1200A, the previous high-end model, the Escala EPC2400 e-Enterprise server is positioned as the ideal enterprise data center for businesses that have large data amounts to manage with access to an increasing number of users. It is ideally suited for the most demanding heavy-duty applications in the domains of e-commerce, decision support, ERP solutions, data warehouse, supply chain management, customer relationship management and for large-scale consolidation. It is field upgradeable from the Escala EPC1200A, and Bull offers special pricing allowances for doing so.

The EPC2400 is estimated at 120,000 tpm; 40,161 SPECweb; and 16,640 SAP SD users. It incorporates Escala's industry-leading Reliability, Availability and Serviceability (RAS) techniques, leveraging such components as:

--Very high speed PowerPC RS64III processor at 450 MHz

--Flexible expandability with up to 24 processors per node and up to 32 nodes per cluster

--Up to 64 GB internal memory in 1 GB, 2 GB, 4GB, 8GB or 16 GB increments; plus L2 Cache

--19GB/s system bandwidth

--Storage Area Network (SAN) connection through Fibre Channel

The new Escala E230 64-bit mid-range enterprise server is highly competitive in price/performance, and delivers a best-in-class performance of 9000 tpm with Oracle. It is the ideal server to run Web applications and business intelligence and data mart applications as well as small-to-medium scale database and OLTP use in departments and small businesses.

Escala E230 delivers security features such as Error Checking & Correcting (ECC), hot swappable disks, redundant fans, redundant power, built-in service processor & modem for auto-reboot, and RAID capabilities. Like all Escala E & T models, it has Bull's unique "Native HA" feature that provides disk mirroring and automatic takeover between two systems, without the need to purchase an external RAID system.

Disaster recovery solutions, HA software, Fibre Channel and EMC & Clariion industry-leading storage subsystems are available on Escala E230. Thanks to management features integrated in the AIX operating system and WatchWare -- the pre-installed system management tool that displays system status and its environment through colored indicators - the Escala E230 delivers optimum system and application operation.

The Escala E230 includes the following performance features:

--Up to two 64-bit RS64 II processors at 262MHz

--Concurrent support of 32-bit & 64-bit applications

--Up to 4 GB Memory ECC SDRAM; 4MB ECC L2 Cache

--Up to 218 GB internal disk capacity

--Up to 12 bays for hot swappable disks; up to 5 bays for media

--Easy on-site upgrade kit from current Escala E

--9 PCI slots

--SAN connection through Full Fibre Channel.

The new Escala T430 is a compact deskside model, offering a sizeable jump in performance with regard to the current Escala T series machines. Performance features include:

--13,700 tpm instead of previous 9,000; 15 SPECfp95 instead of

previous 8

--Much greater memory capacity: 8 GB instead of 3GB

--Advanced RAS features and "Native HA" capability (no need to buy an external RAID subsystem)

--Easy integration into the enterprise solution

--Easy on-site upgrade kit from current Escala T.

--1 to 4 64-bit RS64 II processors at 262MHz

--Up to 8GB memory ECC SDRAM; 4MB ECC L2 cache per CPU

--Up to 218GB internal disk capacity

--New LVD disk technology with 80 MB/sec throughput (theoretical max)

--Fibre Channel disk connectivity.

Prices are configuration dependent. Starting prices for the EPC2400, the Escala E230 and Escala T430 are approximately $275,000; $26,000 and $20,000, respectively.

New Software Solutions Leverage Escala Processing Power

AIX version 4.3.3 nearly triples OLTP performance with true SMP scalability while only doubling the number of processors and amount of memory. Additional software enhancements under AIX 4.3.3 include:

--AIX Workload Management (WLM) -- provides a policy-based method for managing system workload and system resources. WLM brings the ability to control application response times according to business priorities. It assigns a percentage of the total system resources to each application. This is a major new feature that strengthens the position of AIX as a full-scale multi-application enterprise server.

--HACMP 4.3.1 -- this new version of HACMP, the best selling high availability solution in the UNIX world includes two unique Bull value-added features: Application Rolling and Cluster Knowledge Module enhancements. Application Rolling enables swift, easy and automated application rolling from node to node, when required, by allowing many applications on one node to have a personalized IP address. Cluster Knowledge Module allows monitoring of a cluster through the BMC Patrol tool.

--UNIX/NT interoperability -- new AS/U functions with AS/U 4.0.9 enable an AS/U server to be a member of the NT community and benefit from performance gains. From the customer point of view, the behavior of an AIX system with AS/U is the same as a Windows NT system. An AIX system with AS/U is a bridge between the Unix and the Microsoft worlds. An AS/U machine is a Windows NT domain controller, and can also be a member server with all performance gains.

--Storage Management -- Bull's Navisphere Manager for AIX is a centralized management and monitoring tool for DAS disk storage subsystems. It enables system administrators to configure, control, monitor and respond, through a graphic interface, to all operations of their DAS storage subsystems from a single management AIX station located anywhere in the world.

--COBOL for UNIX -- A new version 1.0 of the Micro Focus Server Express offer from Bull's partner Merant offers substantial new features and performance. It is the "next generation product" for e-business and distributed applications. Server Express provides the fastest ever Micro Focus COBOL product for UNIX, and dramatically reduces deployment costs while providing increased service levels.

About Bull

Present in more than 100 countries with more than 21,000 employees and combined revenues of $4.3 billion in 1998, of which 65% is outside France, its country of origin, Bull offers a comprehensive range of systems, infrastructure software and IT services through focused innovation, alliances with the best partners and its own integration expertise. Bull's worldwide software division, BullSoft, and its North/South American operations, are headquartered in Billerica, Mass. The company's web addresses are http://www.bull.com and for the United States, www.us.bull.com.

Escala is a registered trademark of Bull S.A. in the U.S. and other countries.

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

PowerPC and AIX are registered trademarks of IBM and are being used under license.

All trademarks, service marks and company names are the property of their respective owners.

Industry Reaction to Bull's Escala(R) EPC2400 Announcement

"To compete in the e-business world, vendors need to deliver a solid product that can handle unpredictable customer demands, sustain high throughput and be there when the customer expects it to be. The new Bull Escala EPC2400 meets and exceeds those minimum requirements, and allows Bull to make a bold leap forward in the Unix SMP server market. IDC believes that this move will propel Bull into top tier of Unix SMP server vendors."

Vernon Turner

Vice President, World Wide Commercial Systems and Servers

International Data Corporation

"At 120,000 transactions per minute using 24 processors, Bull's Escala EPC2400 shows outstanding linear scalability. This, coupled with Bull's extensions in middleware and workload management plus expansive storage options, make a compelling case to evaluate Bull in a high-end UNIX SMP data center environment."

Joe Clabby

Group VP, Platforms & Services

Aberdeen Group

"Many solutions require very large servers to keep up with the rapidly increasing, mixed workloads driven largely by the Internet economy. With the EPC2400, Bull will be able to satisfy its customers' UNIX requirements at the high end. For small enterprises or for point solutions at larger ones, Bull's E230 provides an ideal UNIX environment. With these additions, Bull now offers a complete range of UNIX platforms, from small servers to clustered multi-server solutions based on the 24-way EPC2400."

Mike Kahn

Chairman

The Clipper Group, Inc.

"The new Escala EPC2400 brings a new generation of highly scaleable, crossbar-switched SMP servers to Bull's RISC/UNIX product line. With up to 24 processors in a single system image node, and up to 768 with the BMC cluster management solution, the EPC2400 brings a whole new level of both performance and price/performance to the high-end server market."

Andrew Allison

Computer Industry Consultant and publisher of the Inside the New Computer Industry newsletter

"With this announcement, Bull strengthens its broad range of 64-bit server offerings and extends its SMP expertise to higher-end AIX systems. The combination of Bull's 24-way EPC 2400 server and AIX Workload Manager (WLM) should prove especially attractive for server consolidation. Bull also enhances the interoperability options for AIX users by delivering an AIX implementation of Advanced Server for UNIX (AS/U), a critical tool for bridging UNIX and Windows NT infrastructures."

Rich Partridge

Service Director, Servers

D.H. Brown Associates, Inc.
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