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HP to Resell Unisys CMP Server

Hewlett-Packard Co. will resell Unisys Corp.’s 32-processor Cellular Multiprocessing (CMP) server designed for Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.

HP (www.hp.com) made the announcement today in conjunction with the official launch of Windows 2000 Datacenter Server in San Francisco.

HP becomes the second high-volume Windows server vendor to commit to the Unisys (www.unisys.com) box, which has four times the processor capacity of any other Wintel server on the market. Compaq Computer Corp. (www.compaq.com) announced a similar resale deal with Unisys seven months ago at the Windows 2000 launch.

IBM Corp. (www.ibm.com) promised a different route today, for the first time saying that the NUMA technology the company acquired with the acquisition of Sequent would support 32 processors on Datacenter Server “in the future.” IBM officials declined to elaborate on a timetable or detail how the NUMA systems would get to 32 processors.

Datacenter Server is Microsoft’s first operating system capable of supporting up to 32 processors. The new OS also supports up to 64 GB of RAM and four-node failover clusters. Microsoft will only sell the operating system through its hardware partners.

Unisys has emphasized the ability to partition the machines. The Unisys E-action ES7000 can be split into up to eight partitions of four processors with each partition running a different operating system and application. Compaq, which includes the CMP server in its ProLiant line, will emphasize the muscle of 32 processors.

HP will push in both directions. “Going from four up to 32 processors works really well in Exchange when you’re trying to consolidate servers,” says Rich Archuleta, vice president and general manager of HP’s network server division. “There are a lot of other applications where partitioning the server out makes a lot more sense.”

HP is also introducing three new service packages in conjunction with Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, including one the company expects to be popular with potential Datacenter Server customers.

“There are a lot of customers that we talked to who want to kick the tires,” Archuleta said. Those customers will have the option of a 6-12 month Pilot Program service package. While the customers must buy the hardware, they get a more limited service package where they get help evaluating Microsoft’s new high-end operating system.

The service package works both with HP’s eight-processor servers running Datacenter Server and the CMP systems, although customers can include no more than four servers under the service package.

HP expects to begin selling CMP systems in 2001. – Scott Bekker

About the Author

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