Compaq has pulled out of a deal to market servers based on Unisys' Cellular Multiprocessing (CMP) architecture, which can run up to 32 Intel processors, Unisys confirmed on Tuesday.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) has also suspended a similar deal to sell Unisys CMP machines. The companies attributed the decision to tough economic times, according to Unisys.
"They like a lot of companies are having business issues," said Marty Krempasky, Unisys director of media and analyst relations. "We understand."
While not the best news that Unisys could hear these days, the decision by Compaq and HP, which are among the top server manufacturers worldwide, apparently hasn't dampened the 32-way push at Unisys.
"We don't think it will be that big of a setback," Krempasky said. "We're still seeing a tremendous amount of interest in the (CMP) box."
Dell is sticking with its agreement to sell 16- and 32-processor servers under its own brand based on the CMP architecture. That deal, signed in January of this year, is worth a combined $US1 billion for both of the companies over three years, they said. Unisys also has a partnership with Microsoft that involves joint marketing and Unisys' work on Windows 2000 enhancements.
It's also clear, Krempasky said, that Compaq and HP place a lot of store in the 32-way server market as both have said they intend to pursue making their own such architectures.
Overall, despite economic turbulence, the 32-way market remains viable because the "economics of buying a 32-way box to replace a bunch of smaller boxes is good," Krempasky said.