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  1. Technology
April 26, 1992


By CBR Staff Writer

London-based Euro PCM Ltd has begun operations at its Berlin data centre, designed to allow outsourcing by wire for IBM mainframe users to gain access to extra processing power using public or private telecommunications networks. The centre, housed in part of the bomb-proof wartime security bunker, now contains a six-processor IBM Corp ES/9000 Model 900 mainframe, and Euro PCM intends leasing out sections of the processor to clients seeking to upgrade their processing capabilities without replacing their existing mainframe. As yet the centre has only one system, Escon-capable with 240Gb storage, although Euro PCM says another is due this December. The fully configured system should have 1Gb of main memory and 8Gb of expanded memory. Clients would contract for a partition of the processor, operating under PR/SM, to use over the term of their lease, anticipated to be around three years. The company offers a fixed cost contract irrespective of usage, and will undertake to upgrade to new IBM offerings as they become available. Euro PCM anticipates demand for at least 50 MIPS from each customer, and though not prepared to mention a representative cost, it claims this could knock down operating costs to a third of current levels. Euro PCM grew out of German software and systems house Software und RechenCentrum GmbH, providing software development and computer consultancy services. It now wishes to distance itself from facilities management proper with its time-sharing by wire service. The three-year lease arrangement would allow a firm to increase its processing power without the level of investment involved in replacing an obsolete mainframe, and avoids the loss of data processing staff consequent on handing over to a facilities management firm. Euro PCM expects interest from firms needing leading-edge technology for software development but able to use their existing mainframe for core business. Alternatively firms may seek to lease extra power for the remainder of the time it takes to pay for their mainframe, and simply switch the whole of their processing workload to Euro PCM when the initial agreement expires.

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