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Datacenter Testing Gets Underway

CARY, N.C. -- Microsoft Corp. finally kicked off what will probably be a lengthy testing cycle for the high-end version of Windows 2000. The Datacenter Server beta program teams Microsoft up with high-end partners, who together work with a small number of end user companies to test a variety of deployment configurations of the product.

Under the Datacenter Server beta program, each partner selects four customers to participate under its guidance, while Microsoft will select an additional four customers to work with that partner. One partner, IBM, has already selected the four existing customers to participate in the program. IBM is waiting for Microsoft to select four non-customer companies.

Each participating hardware vendor will supply systems and software to the eight customers, while the partner company will work together with Microsoft to provide support and problem resolution.

Sandy Carter, director of Netfinity Partners in Development at IBM, says IBM will supply each beta user with a set of four, four-way SMP Netfinity 5500 machines running Datacenter Server, configured with Microsoft Cluster Server and supported by a Fibre Channel SAN storage system.

"Each customer picked something different they wanted to do [with the systems]," says Carter, including one customer that is evaluating the configuration for viability of migrating to it from a Unix environment. Carter declined to identify any of the companies, or what the other three known participants will be doing with their systems.

Carter says plans include upgrading the cluster during the test, and that at some point higher levels of SMP could be used. Extended levels of SMP support is one of the features Microsoft touts for Datacenter Server. IBM confirms that the first release of Datacenter Server beta code was sent to the hardware partners a few weeks ago. -- Al Gillen

About the Author

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

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