Unisys to Ship Three New ES7000s

Unisys this month plans to ship three new Intel Itanium-based servers, including one that enables IT shops to run both 32-bit and 64-bit processors in the same rack-mounted unit, giving customers a more cost-effective migration path for expanding into 64-bit applications.

The new servers are the ES7000 460, ES7000 440 and ES7000 405.

Similar to its larger relation, the ES7000 560, the ES7000 460 is a response to customers’ demands to integrate large-scale databases running on 64-bit environments while continuing to run existing enterprise applications in 32-bit environments.

“You can leverage 64-bit computing for databases to get the benefit of 64-bit addressing to access large amounts of data very quickly, [plus] you might have existing 32-bit enterprise applications that you can run [along side] them,” says Jean Bozman, vice president of Global Enterprise Server Solutions at analyst firm IDC.

While the 560 can support up to 32 32-bit CPUs and 32 64-bit CPUs for a total of 64, the 460 supports up to 32 Xeon MP and 16 Itanium 2 processors for a total of 48 processors.

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“It’s a cost-effective migration path for people going into these new [64-bit] systems, and it’s also a simple way to put up an entire solution that can be managed together as a single system,” says Mark Feverston, vice president of platforms for systems and technologies at Unisys of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. “The 460 is a better entry point [into hybrid 32/64-bit computing] because it’s about half of what the 560 costs,” he adds.

The mix-and-match approach resonates with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group, a research firm in San Jose, California. The timing is good, he thinks, for products like the 460 and 560. “We’re in a transitional phase and people need a transitional product like this,” he says, adding that Unisys has a reputation for producing high-quality products.

All of the new servers, which are set to ship this month, run 64-bit Itanium 2 processors. For operating systems, customers can choose from Windows Server 2003 or either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on all three servers.

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That’s another good decision, says Enderle. “64-bit Windows is still uncommon,” he says, so having enterprise Linux implementations is a canny move.

The ES7000 460 can run 32-bit and 64-bit applications natively, allowing 32-bit applications and associated 64-bit databases to share resources, providing faster access to information, according to Feverston. The 460 starts at around $100,000.

The other two new servers are an entry level unit, the ES7000 405, and a high-end server, the 440. The 405 is a four-to-eight processor Itanium 2 system that starts around $35,000, according to Feverston. The 440, which supports 24 to 32 Itanium 2 CPUs, starts at around $250,000.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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