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.
“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.
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.
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.