What's new from ... IBM, Compaq, HP, Unisys


Looking to further revive interest in the AS/400 platform, IBM recently launched its AS/400e server 270 designed to deliver simple and easy-to-deploy solutions for e-commerce.

On the applications side, IBM is marketing this product as an ideal base from which to run Domino, Internet and Java development solutions. These features, it believes, will hit a nerve amongst many small-to-medium businesses looking for a versatile platform supporting traditional applications at both the back and front end while also carrying the necessary smarts and grunt to handle large and unpredictable Web-based projects, all at an affordable price.

Highlights of the 270 include:l High performance PCI-busl 500Mbps high-speed links between I/O towers and systems unitsl 1Gbps high-speed Ethernet adapters as well as 100Mbps high-speed Token Ring compatibility with IBM's new 700MHz Netfinity server. Pricing is available on application from the company.

IBM: 13 24


Signalling its ambition to gain a dominant foothold in the high-end Unix market, Compaq recently released its new GS series AlphaServer solutions for UNIX and OpenVMS.

The company claims that the new Alphas will offer the highest availability of any RISC server currently on the market today via a new modular design which supports 8-way (AlphaServer GS80), 16-way (GS160), and 32-way (GS320) configurations based on Digital's Alpha EV67731 MHz processor.

The GS series architecture is based on up to four EV67 processors grouped to form building blocks which consist of four CPUs, four memory arrays with up to 32GB capacity (up to .25TB in the GS320 systems), one 6.4Gbps local switch bandwidth and eight PCI buses with 28 PCI options with 1.6Gbps of I/O bandwidth.

AlphaServer GS systems support TruUNIX 5.1 and TruCluster Server 5.1, Open VMS and OpenVMS Galaxy Software as well as Linux. A high-end platform designed for larger organisations or those companies with big ambitions but seeking investment protection, the GS Series AlphaServers start from $175,000 including tax.

Compaq: 1300 360


The HP NetServer LT 6000r is the latest PC server product to emerge from HP and offers enhanced six-way performance for the price of a standard four-way system.

For the aesthetically minded, the 6000r offer is packaged in a slim 4U form factor delivering the power of up to 60 processors in a standard 40U rack.

Key performance features include 8GB of PC 133MHz SDRAM, eight 64-bit I/O slots, and up to 12 internal Ultra2 SCSI drives.

HP also throws in its HP NetRAID controller solution aimed at helping organisations deal with storage intensive applications like messaging, ERP and e-commerce-related activities.

Pricing for the HP NetServer LT 6000r systems starts at $US7299.

Hewlett-Packard: 13


Unisys recently released its new ES7000 Enterprise Server based on the company's Cellular Multiprocessing technology which it claims is the first Intel-based system equipped to handle truly mission-critical applications.

The technology breakthrough centres on the ability of the ES7000 to sidestep limitations on scalability brought about by what is called "Bus Contention".

This has been achieved via a mainframe-based technique of providing direct communication between key server components so that processor tasks form memory or the I/O subsystem don't compete with other processors.

The ES7000 is able to support up to 96 PCI channels, thereby guaranteeing the provision of sufficient channel capacity for very large databases and vast networks.

The product also supports up to 32 Intel processors which can easily be swapped for expansion to higher capacity processors if necessary. It is compatible with Intel's IA32-bit Pentium III Xeon technology and is also designed to support IA64 bit technology.

Emphasising its commitment to supporting e-commerce, Unisys has included third-level cache and cache coherency algorithms in order to minimise the volume of processor cycles to manage cache. Complex partitioning is also catered for with users able to run several groups of various operating systems such as Windows NT, Windows 2000 and UnixWare. Pricing is available on application from the company.

Unisys: 1300 655