Eight-way server field steps up

Eight-way server field steps up

IT professionals will get their first glimpses of eight-way Intel servers at Comdex in Las Vegas in two weeks, when IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq Computer show systems based on Intel's forthcoming Profusion eight-way chip set.

The Windows NT servers will not be available in volume until 1999's first quarter, but analysts said industry trends and customer requirements indicate that eight-way servers will be in demand.

"[Eight-way servers] will be eye-opening to a lot of IS executives who are used to four-way architectures and haven't explored consolidating servers," said James Gruener, a senior analyst at the Aberdeen Group.

A source close to IBM's Netfinity development said IBM will demonstrate a model powered by eight 450MHz Xeon processors. The unit will also feature IBM's Hot-Add PCI technology.

Compaq will house its eight-way servers in its 14U rack-mounted ProLiant 7000 chassis. Compaq has the distinction of having contributed technology that is incorporated within the Profusion chip set. It developed many of the chip set's I/O functions, notably 64-bit, 66MHz PCI technology and Compaq's HotPlug PCI capability.

"It's a pretty dramatic change for Compaq in developing the overall industry standards," said Mary McDowell, Compaq vice president of industry standard servers.

HP will also show an eight-way 450MHz Xeon server at Comdex. The unit is housed in HP's 7U rack-mounted LXr 8000 chassis. Since the LXr 8000's release, HP has designated the product as eight-way upgradable, destined to replace HP's eight-processor, Pentium Pro-based LXr Pro.

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