IBM's 'Blue Hammer' aims at Web

IBM's 'Blue Hammer' aims at Web

In an effort to outdistance Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, its competitors in the Web server market, IBM has unveiled Blue Hammer, a system for clustering Web-based servers. Blue Hammer uses IBM's Parallel System Support Programs (PSSP) to cluster as many as 16 of the company's RS/6000 S80 Unix servers, according to IBM.

The system uses PSSP to enable e-commerce firms to simultaneously manage all the S80 servers in the cluster from a single point of control, the company said.

Blue Hammer is already being used by the Virginia Community College System to build its student information database. The system covers 23 colleges and 39 campuses - 250,000 credit students and 100,000 noncredit students.

"We bought two of them . . . and we're betting the farm on [the system]," said vice chancellor Larry Hengehold. "It's a tremendous horse. We have gone through stress testing and other testing to make sure it meets our needs, and we can't even make it breathe hard. It's a big engine."

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