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June 9, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:15pm

HP REVS NETSERVER LINE TO FEND OFF COMPAQ THREAT

By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co is determined that the high-end network servers should not just be the preserve of Unix, and is attempting to push its iAPX-86-based Windows NT servers up the line to work as application servers, with the HP9000 Unix machines working as the database and transaction servers in the background. Eventually the company envisages the NT boxes being able to act as replacements, but not for a while yet. But more interestingly, HP seems to be worried that Compaq Computer Corp is in danger of eating its server lunch: If we don’t do it, Compaq will eat into our Unix installed base, said Cecilia Margevicius, HP’s worldwide industry solutions manager. To this end, the company is revving two of its L series NetServer. HP will today introduce a rack-optimized version of its LX server called LXr Pro, which has two 200MHz Pentium Pro processors, 512 KB cache and 64Mb of error checking and correcting (ECC) memory. It can go up to 2Gb with SIMMs and 4Gb with DIMMs; it has 10 I/O slots – 6 PCI and 4 EISA. The rack can house up to 5 LX servers. In addition, HP is introducing a faster version of its midrange LH Pro server, by doubling the cache to 512 KB. The company also has a series of storage products to accompany the rack. The NetServer Rack Storage/8 system supports up to eight hot-swappable disk drives accommodating up to72 GB, and up to 13 of the modules can be linked to provide up to 936Gb of storage. HP has also added some peripherals to support the new systems; these include 10,000 RPM 4Gb disk drives and HP SuperStore DLT 4000 Series libraries. HP says it will be training its resellers – the L series is a channel-only product – in the same way they train those that sell the HP 9000 Unix servers. It reckons this is one area it can easily beat off its main competitor, Compaq. HP said it is working on an 8-way systems and beyond, but the company is not going to build them itself (see separate story in todays’ Top Stories). As far as high-availability goes, this line is at the system-level redundancy stage, and is ready for Microsoft Corp’s Wolfpack clustering technology when it debuts, probably in late summer. The network management software defaults are preset for OpenView this time, which HP reckons should save a lot of time, and has also been optimized for Computer Associates International Inc’s Unicenter TNG product. In the next six to twelve months HP will integrate the management software with other vendors’ offerings. It also plans disaster tolerance and self-healing systems. More advanced subsystems are also on the way, with fiber channel and so-called intelligent I/O (I2), the technology that HP and Intel are working on to bring mainframe-like I/O architecture to iAPX-86-based systems. That should happen by the end of the year, perhaps early next. HP is aiming these boxes initially at the financial and retail markets. No prices yet. https://www.hp.com

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