Compaq Unveils Profusion-based 8-ways

Compaq Computer Corp. today formally launched two servers based on the 8-way Profusion chipset, and Compaq officials vowed Compaq would be the first company to deliver servers based on the technology when Intel Corp. actually delivers the silicon.

Intel has continually delayed the release of Profusion, which is based on technology the chipmaker purchased from Corollary Corp. in 1997. Intel’s Profusion launch is expected shortly.

Compaq’s servers are the 8500 ProLiant, a rack-mountable system, and the 8000 ProLiant, targeted as a departmental-level server. The company has discussed the servers publicly in the past.

The 8-way announcements came during Compaq’s discussion of its overall enterprise strategy, which covers a broad range of platforms from Tru-64 Unix to SCO to Linux to Windows NT/Windows 2000.

While Compaq will sell the new ProLiants directly to large corporate accounts, the company also intends to use the systems to take Internet Service Provider and Application Service Provider business away from Sun Microsystems Inc.

"Today we’re throwing down the gauntlet with the capabilities of our 8-way," said Mary McDowell, vice president and general manager of Compaq’s Industry Standard Server Division. "These products strike right at the heart of the Sun product line. We’re delivering comparable performance at a fraction of the cost."

The fully configured systems will cost between $20,000 and $80,000. Features include new RAID controllers, new networking technology, redundant components such as power supplies and fans, error correction and self diagnostics.

Compaq also announced Transaction Processing Council TPCC benchmarks for each of the new servers of more than 40,000 transactions per minute at $18.86/tpmC. The company published the results more than a month ago. Together, the Compaq results are the second and third published with the TPC on the Profusion architecture. Unisys Corp. ( was first with Profusion-based results around 37,000 TPCC.

Compaq unveiled new results today for a ProLiant 8000 with four processors. At 26,560.4 transactions per minute, the system beat the previous best published result for a 4-way, also a Compaq system. – Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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