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  1. Technology
July 7, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Data General Corp’s new line of 88110-based AViiON servers is a giant step for the company, said president Ron Skates, in terms of its power and scalability, and its position as the start of an open enterprise computing strategy: he claimed the range’s power has expanded 44 times in five years. Tom West, senior vice-president of advanced development, said two things have been learned over the last two years: data processing managers are slow in moving to open systems, and systems can only be viable if they have the commodity add-ons users have come to expect. So the 8500 and 9500 servers span the needs of a departmental server and a high-end centralised data centre (CI No 2,193). The machines are rather more expensive in the UK than in the US, but UK marketing director John Coon said The US is based on a different cost structure, and we think these (UK) prices are fair. Europe’s an expensive place to do business. Prices on the AV 9500 start at $84,000 (UKP78,709) for the two-processor version; $104,000 (UKP98,049) for the four-processor version; $124,000 (117,389) for the six-processor version; $144,000 (136,729) for the eight-processor model; $220,000 (UKP175,409) for the 12-processor model; and $280,000 (UKP214,089) for the 16-processor version, whose maximum speed is a claimed 1.6b instructions per second. The AV 8500 starts at $36,000 (UKP32,846) for the two-way and $56,000 (UKP52,186) for the four-way. The AV workstation is $15,000 (UKP12,491). The six- and eight-processor 9500s will follow in late autumn, and the 12-and 16-processor models in spring 1994. The firm claims to have 3,000 applications from software developers ready to go, and in a glossy launch staged simultaneously via satellite link in Boston, Massachusetts, London and Budapest, it paraded a line of customers from Dun & Bradstreet Corp to Texaco/Star Enterprises Corp, who all share the common vision of raising distributed performance for competitive edge. Meanwhile the servers sat on the side of the stage, looking for all the world like a set of fridge-freezers from a game show. Data General has still to work out its UK distribution strategy as it recently ended its brief contract with distributor Technology Plc. Coon said he now hopes to find a Master Reseller instead of a broadline distributor, one focussed on commercial Unix software: We need a more mature value-added reseller for Data General.

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