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October 31, 1999

Dell, HP & Reliance Go to IBM for Hot Swappable “Active PCI”

By CBR Staff Writer

Dell Computer Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and chip infrastructure manufacturer Reliance Computer Corp have all licensed IBM Corp’s Active PCI technology. Active PCI, which has been shipping as part of IBM’s Netfinity line of servers for over a year, enables users to add components to Windows-based servers while the machines remain running. It was developed as part of the company’s OnForever initiative to reduce server downtime on Intel-based servers, and introduced as part of the Netfinity’s PC X architecture, an attempt to add high-end features to the Netfinity line while keeping costs down (CI No 3,532).

IBM says a unification around Active PCI for hot-pluggable PCI implementations will provide a focal point for investment. Servers using the technology can be expanded or upgraded in real- time. Components using PCI adapter slots, such as RAID adapters and network cards, can take advantage of the technology, which works with current versions of NT and the future Windows 2000. HP says it will use the technology with its NetServer range and Dell in its PowerEdge servers. Reliance says it will support high- availability PCI within its ServerSet chip technology aimed at the server OEM marketplace.

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