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February 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:56pm

DATA GENERAL CLUSTER IN A BOX LAUNCHED IN EUROPE

By CBR Staff Writer

Looks like Westborough, Massachusetts-based Data General Corp has slipped again in its efforts to get its much-anticipated NUMA-on- Intel systems to market – the last word was that they would ship by March (CI No 3,029), but on Thursday the company said it would only have them in customers’ hands by May. Meanwhile the company launched its Windows NT Cluster In A Box system in Europe, having launched it in the States in December, and took the opportunity to promise two new configurations of the system. The idea behind Cluster In a Box is to bring new levels of ease-of-use – something Data General says Windows NT buyers expect – by doing all of the clustering and fault-tolerance work, and even pre-installing applications from the likes of PeopleSoft Inc and Baan Co NV, before the box leaves the factory. The initial configuration of the system – which is essentially two Aviion servers, a Clariion storage array and clustering software based on Veritas Software Corp’s FirstWatch – sees each Aviion with four Pentium Pros, a ten-slot Clariion, and costs around 55,000 pounds in the UK. In the next three to four months the company hopes to ship a lower-end system, each Aviion having two Pentium Pros, and in about six months there should be a new model for the top end – with either six Pentium Pros or eight Pentium Pros per Aviion and a twenty-slot Clariion. While it’s too early to know how well the system has been selling since its launch in the US, Data General says Windows NT now accounts for 40% of its Aviion and Clariion businesses. The company says it has a lead over other NT manufacturers since its Intel-based servers and disk arrays run either NT or its own DG-UX Unix, so it doesn’t have to cobble together two different product lines. While there are plans to ramp the NT portion of its server and array business up to 50%, Data General admits Unix will maintain the higher ground, especially with the launch of its NUMA on Intel Aviions later this year. Nevertheless European NT business unit director Philipe La Fornara says that there are plenty of examples of Aviions proving their scalability – Texaco apparently has 380 concurrent users running SAP’s R/3 with an Oracle database, all under NT. Nevertheless La Fornara expects it to be some time before NT achieves the kind of security certification enjoyed by DG-UX. He also said it wouldn’t be beyond the bounds of the imagination for the company to bring out a Cluster In A Box running Unix, if the market wanted it. At the same time, Data General has announced a newly formed partnership with the UK’s McDonnell Information Systems Ltd, which will sell and support the NT server systems.

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