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May 23, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:35pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Introducing the company’s new high-end V Series commercial Unix servers yesterday, Hewlett-Packard Co chief executive officer Lew Platt responded to attacks on his company’s commitment to the operating system and apparent shift towards Windows NT by saying we’d be out of our minds to walk away from Unix. Platt said the new V Series signified the company’s intentions to continue developing the Unix environment. He declared HP was quite capable of executing a dual operating system strategy and berated Sun Microsystems Inc, the company behind much of the rumor mongering, for its small size and myopic view. We know our customers need both Unix and NT. If we were only an $8bn company like Sun, we’d be perhaps less ambitious and only focus on one operating system, but we can walk and chew gum at the same time. HP is pitching its new V2200 symmetric multiprocessor against Sun’s own Starfire high-end servers and claims the 15.3Gbps HyperPlane backplane, which uses its Convex Computer subsidiary’s cross-bar interconnect, will be able to carry up to 16 simultaneous processor-to-memory transactions and offers 19% more bandwidth than Sun’s 12.8Gbps and seven times more than DEC’s 2.1Gbps. The company believes commercial performance will be 1.5 times Sun’s best numbers, twice DEC’s highest commercial offering and three times IBM’s Unix symmetrical multiprocessing performance. Already widely previewed (CI No 3,159), the servers are effectively new versions of Convex’s S series scientific servers rigged for the commercial world with a 64-bit HP-UX 11.0 release, high- availability software and up to 16 200MHz, 64-bit PA-8200 RISCs in its initial release. The system will support 32 processors next year and costs from $600,000 with 16 CPUs, 2Gb memory and 24 expansion slots. HP is also configuring the V2200 for use as a high-end parallel processing engine as the HP 9000 Enterprise Parallel Server Models EPS 40. The EPS architecture can support up to 16 SMP nodes meaning EPS 40 can house 512 CPUs. With one 16-way V2200 inside, the EPS 40 is priced from $190,00; additional 16-way nodes are $151,000 each or individual processors are $25,000 each. They ship in December. HP also introduced new models in its K-Class line of technical servers, which now accommodate up to six PA-8200 RISCs capable of more than 22,000 tpm and cost from $67,000. First shipments, fourth quarter. HP claims 95.5% reliability and yesterday laid down the gauntlet to rival server vendors, claiming its server suite, comprising the D, K, T and newly announced V-class, delivers upto 99.5% reliability – which means users should expect no more than 4.4 hours of downtime per year. That’s at least 0.5% above rival vendors guarantees. And if the hardware falls short, HP promises to compensate with customer rebates, said Janice Chaffin, general manger of enterprise systems at HP. The company is also keen to establish its position within the Java arena, claiming its hardware to be the best Java platform available, and said customers could expect a 30% performance hike over its closest competitors by running Java on HP machines.

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