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October 13, 1998

AMDAHL GETS ITS NOSE IN FRONT OF MAINFRAME PACK

By CBR Staff Writer

Amdahl Corp says it will ship its second generation CMOS Millennium mainframes, the 800 series, in December, restoring a slight performance lead over IBM Corp which it lost when Big Blue shipped its G5 S/390 processors at the end of the summer. Amdahl now says a 12-way Millennium 800 will top 1,075 MIPS, ahead of a ten-way G5 which performs 1,040 MIPS and Hitachi Data Systems Ltd’s 10-way bi-CMOS/ECL Skyline I which is rated at 975 MIPS. However Amdahl’s lead isn’t likely to last long as the inevitable round of processor upgrades should provide some interesting games of leapfrog next year when IBM unveils its 200-to-225 MIPS G6 engine (depending on which reports you believe) and Hitachi debuts the 270 MIPS Skyline II engine said achieve 2,100 MIPS as a 12-way. IBM expects to have the copper chip-based G6 out a year after G5 while Hitachi is talking about the third quarter of 1999 for Skyline II. What’s interesting about Millennium, which uses chips from parent Fujitsu Ltd is that a single system can be partitioned into four discrete servers, each with its own serial number, using a Multiple server Feature. This reduces the cost of the IBM operating system software on the system. Computer Economics Inc says street prices for new generations of CMOS mainframes may fall below $5,000 per MIPS IBM G5 mainframes will sell at an average of $4,945 per MIPS once they ship in the fourth quarter, says the firm. This compares with $4,203 per MIPS for Amdahl Corp’s Millennium 800 machines. Total cost of ownership for IBM mainframes is running at about 11% above those of Amdahl. Software is also cheaper for Amdahl users who take advantage of the Multiple Server Feature credits. Amdahl has teamed with EMC Corp subsidiary McData Corp for fibre channel storage connections. It’s taking McData’s fibre channel switch and software for creating storage area networks linking its LVS and Spectris arrays.

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