Compagnie des Machines Bull SA has duly launched its new DPS9000/900 range of transaction processing enterprise servers mainframes to you and me – consisting of six models, the 971 and 991 mono-processor systems, the 972T and 992T dual tandem systems and the 993T and 994T three and four processor systems respectively, which Bull claims can handle up to 2,000 transactions per second and support up to 2,000 concurrent programs under GCOS 8 (CI No 2,290). Memory capacities range from 256Mb up to 1.02Gb for the top range model. Using an optically-linked integrated vector processor the lowest of the series can cope with Fortran-based applications at rates approaching 100 MFLOPS on each processor and an input-output Processor with an overall transfer rate of 240Mbps. The DPS9000/900 series is compliant with Bull’s GCOS 7 enterprise systems as well as Unix environments, Systems Network Architecture and TCP/IP. They are built by NEC Corp using bi-polar VLSI circuits, with up to 20,000 gates per chip and high density multi-chip packaging reducing the number of chips for the processor to two from 27 in the previous generation. GCOS support for the Open Software Foundation’s Distributed Computing Environment enables access to new services such as Electronic Data Interchange and distributed printing on Unix systems. Bull also announced BOS/TP which is based on the Tuxedo transaction processing monitor, and means that customers will now be able to develop distributed applications independently of the characters on the monitor via a standard application programming interface – CPI-C. Also announced were /HOST 7 and /HOST 8 which enable the mainframe host to provide a transaction processing service to a Unix transactional application as if the service was provided locally on the same system or by another Unix system. At its press conference in Lisbon, Portugal last week Bull said that these product releases fit in with the third stage of its Distributed Computing Model to integrate enterprise servers fully into client-server networks.
It is committed to integrating both its 32-bit GCOS 7 and 36-bit GCOS 8 operating systems in client-server computing, notably in the areas of database performance and transaction processing in order to protect existing customers’ investments. It aims to reduce the cost of computing so has extended its smaller DPS9000/500 series with a four processor model that can deal with up to 278 transactions per second. In addition Bull also announced a new version of its Automated Storage Management facility and enhancements to its GCOS 8 Cache Disk Array and Cartridge Library products, and an update of its Interel/RFM ll relational database management system, claiming a 50% performance improvement for it. The DPS900/900 series ranges from UKP4.6m for the 971 model to UKP24m for the four-processor top model The new 500 version costs UKP2.6m for the top range model.