Sequent Breaks Performance Records, Unveils Industry Leading Capabilities with Next-Generation NUMA-Q 2000 Servers

Sequent offers aggressive price/performance, leading scalability and flexibility for next generation ERP, CRM, decision support and e-commerce applications

BEAVERTON, Ore.—October 26, 1998—Sequent Computer Systems, Inc., the leader in Intel-based data center solutions, today announced the availability of its second-generation NUMA-Q™ 2000 data center servers offering customers unequaled performance and flexibility in building infrastructure for large-scale e-commerce, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and decision support applications.

Sequent today unveiled record breaking TPC benchmark performance and price/performance results over RISC-based platforms with the industry's first PentiumŪ II Xeon™-based servers scalable beyond eight processors. These results offer substantial proof that the NUMA-Q architecture is surpassing mature Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) systems in key measures of performance and scalability. In addition to significant performance improvements, the second-generation systems offer innovative new management and availability features.

The second-generation NUMA-Q 2000 delivers industry leading single-system performance for Oracle (TPC-C) and UNIX single-system price/performance (TPC-D). The system is available today with scalability to 64 processors, dynamic resource partitioning for workload management and new features extending Sequent's commanding lead in fibre channel subsystem integration. Sequent has also introduced aggressive pricing that significantly enhances price/performance of all NUMA-Q products effective immediately.

"Sequent has never had a better product or a better opportunity to broaden its impact in the marketplace," said Casey Powell, chairman and CEO of Sequent. "The NUMA-Q architecture is years ahead of the competition in answering customer requirements for a flexible, massively scalable system based on industry standard components that eliminates risk from infrastructure decisions. Sequent has an extensive customer base with production NUMA-Q systems and now proof of leading performance and price/performance."

"With its NUMA-Q 2000 benchmarks, Sequent has demonstrated that multi-processing technology on Intel architecture continues to make significant gains in terms of scalability and performance," said John Miner, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Server Group at Intel Corporation. "NUMA-Q allows users to harness the power of 64 Pentium II Xeon processors in an extremely powerful and flexible data center system."

Second-Generation NUMA-Q 2000

Sequent's second-generation NUMA-Q 2000 delivers a new level of scalable performance and system flexibility required to address next-generation data center applications with exponential growth in concurrent users and data.

Sequent is helping customers leverage this architectural power and flexibility to embrace new data center standards like Microsoft Windows NTŪ and Intel's up-coming IA-64™ architecture, and utilize proven technologies required to ensure service levels. NUMA-Q is the engine underlying Sequent's UNIX and Windows NT mixed-mode NUMACenter™ environment.

"Sequent and EMC have teamed to provide exceptional fibre channel integration between Sequent's second-generation NUMA-Q systems and EMC's industry leading Symmetrix Enterprise Storage Systems. This brings tremendous performance, availability and management advantages to our customers as they deploy these systems for their mission-critical applications," said Frank Farese, Vice President of Global Alliances at EMC Corp.

Sequent has shipped nearly one thousand NUMA-Q systems to more than 300 customers leading to the launch of the next-generation Pentium II Xeon-based systems. Customers with NUMA-Q systems include: BASS Retail Leisure, BMW, Britannic Assurance, British Telecom, Burlington Coat Factory, Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, Cisco Systems, Credit Lyonnais, Consolidated Natural Gas, Eckerd Drug, Edgars Stores, Employment Service (UK), European Passenger Services (Eurostar), First Data Resource, The Ford Motor Company, Hollywood Entertainment, ICG Communications, Inland Revenue (UK), Internal Revenue Service (US), GE Capital, Kaiser Permanente, Lanier Worldwide, Lloyds TSB, Millipore, Ministry of Defense (UK), NASDAQ, NDC HIS, Novus/Discover Card, One-2-One, Oxford Health Plans, PPP Healthcare, Reuters, Royal & Sun Alliance, Securicor Cash Services, Siebel Systems, Storehouse, Telewest Communications, Transys, Unocal, US West, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and Western Digital.

Scalability and Performance

NUMA-Q 2000 Pentium II Xeon-based systems deliver up to a 180% increase in performance over previous generation systems depending on the application. Substantial OLTP performance improvements were demonstrated in an industry leading single-system benchmark on Oracle (see separate TPC-C press release) and for data warehousing queries, NUMA-Q offers very high performance together with leading price/performance results on Informix (see TPC-D press release).

The NUMA-Q 2000 now features system extensibility from four-to-64 Pentium II Xeon processors utilizing one-to-16 four-processor boards or "quads". Significant memory and cache upgrades and interconnect enhancements have dramatically increased system throughput and have reduced local and remote memory access times. Sequent's second-generation IQ-Link™ interconnect offers four times the throughput of previous generation NUMA-Q systems.

NUMA-Q also now offers support for up-to-64 GB of main memory and 48 terabytes of connected storage, including the first fibre channel direct connect capability to EMC Symmetrix Enterprise Storage Systems.

Manageability and Partitioning

With the second generation of NUMA-Q 2000, Sequent offers Dynamic Partitioning Environment™, a layered software product that enables customers to partition processor, memory and I/O resources for application workload and resource management in a high availability environment. System partitions can be built, modified, or removed while the system and applications are running.

This dynamic partitioning feature enables consolidation of application and database servers, cost center management, ease-of-application-deployment, performance optimization and workload management. The Dynamic Partitioning Environment, for example, can ensure optimal resource management for the performance and availability of high volume e-commerce applications. System resources can be shifted to batch processing at night when Web traffic is limited, significantly reducing processing time and ensuring that applications have resources available at peak times.

By taking advantage of Dynamic Partitioning Environment for consolidation of applications or in implementing new systems with the intent of running multiple applications on one server, customers can dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of managing applications and systems, while retaining flexibility and control in the implementation.

Fibre Channel for Performance and Availability

Sequent was the first commercial server vendor to offer integrated fibre channel, beginning in 1997. NUMA-Q now features the industry's first fully integrated fibre channel subsystem delivering multi-gigabyte per second throughput in real world applications. New industry leading features include direct connect to storage systems and the first cascaded fibre channel switches enabling storage systems, back up or nodes in a cluster to be separated geographically by up to 10 kilometers.

NUMA-Q 2000 clusters that utilize Sequent's multipath I/O and switched fabric fibre channel have no single point of subsystem failure. Implemented in a NUMA-Q system, fibre channel switches provide the highest available levels of storage capacity, throughput, scalability and availability. Sequent has a clear leadership role in the implementation of fibre channel fabrics and storage area networks.

Sequent enhances shared file system performance and availability in a cluster through its industry leading Clustered File System (CFS) technology. CFS is a highly-available, high performance, distributed file system, enabling NUMA-Q 2000 cluster nodes to access files directly across the fibre channel interconnect, rather than relying on much slower network connections. Other UNIX vendors today still require Network File Systems (NFS) to share files between nodes in a cluster. CFS ensures more secure, faster file access and improved cluster performance and synchronization to virtually eliminate failover delays. NUMA-Q 2000 also features hot swappable components throughout the system.

Investment Protection

NUMA-Q 2000 offers significant investment protection through its system design and complete support for the Intel Architecture.

Both Pentium II Xeon quads and Pentium Pro quads can operate concurrently in the same node under a single instance of an operating system. NUMA-Q 2000 systems will also leverage the power of future Pentium II Xeon and follow-on IA-32™ processors. Sequent offers investment protection at every level of the system architecture.

In addition to mixed quad configurations, NUMA-Q enables the customer to re-deploy single or multiple quad resources from UNIX to Windows NT workloads without any change in the system or the Windows NT operating system. This is an important aspect of investment protection for customers who wish to increase their use of Windows NT in the data center over the next few years. Sequent, through its NUMACenter framework, offers the safest and most manageable path for migration to business critical Windows NT systems.


NUMA-Q 2000 with Pentium II Xeon processors is available immediately starting at $200,000 for a single quad configuration with 1GB of memory in an existing system. All systems are covered by a limited one year warranty.

NUMA-Q Family

Building on the success of its NUMA-Q 2000 systems, Sequent will extend its NUMA-Q family in the first quarter of 1999 to address the midrange market. The NUMA-Q 1000, a four or eight processor system will be offered as a cost effective development and prototyping system running either UNIX or Windows NT. It will be deployed as part of larger customer solutions where application servers, Web servers, or Windows terminal servers are required.

The NUMA-Q 1000 will offer excellent price/performance competitively positioned against comparable Sun and HP UNIX offerings. With the addition of NUMA-Q 1000, the NUMA-Q family provides a range of performance and price with industry standard Intel technology that no other vendor can match.

About Sequent Computer Systems, Inc.

Sequent Computer Systems (Nasdaq:SQNT), the leader in Intel-based solutions for the data center, is committed to the success of its end-user and system integrator customers. Sequent's platform architectures and services are optimized for the scalability, availability and manageability requirements of corporate and institutional data center environments leveraging industry-standard technologies and best-in-class partnerships.

Sequent supports more than 10,000 installations worldwide, including many of the world's largest and most sophisticated OLTP, DSS and RDBMS applications.

For further information, phone Sequent at (503) 626-5700 or (800) 257-9044, or visit our Web site at