Hewlett-Packard Co stopped by yesterday to talk up its imminent 8-way Windows NT Pentium Pro-based NetServer line which it will ship before the year-end, which it says will beat rival Compaq Computer Corp to market by at least nine months. Other vendors have already gone beyond 4-way Pentium Pro NT servers, such as NCR Corp with its 8-way, Acer Corp’s 6-way and Unisys Corp’s 10- way. But HP doesn’t really see those companies as its real competitors. It goes head-to-head with Compaq, Dell Computer Corp and other PC server makers. What is not clear yet is how much of the new HP 8-way NetServers will come from HP itself. The interconnect technology is thought to come from elsewhere, with Hyundai thought to be the most likely. But HP wasn’t saying anything other than the 8-ways will be definitely an HP product, according to Maria Cannon, general manager of the enterprise NetServer operation at HP. Analysts we spoke to were none the wiser either, so we will all have to wait for the announcement, which will be in a few weeks. HP is promising the machines will ship before the year-end. The product is ready to migrate to Pentium II (Deschutes) technology as that becomes available. In internal tests HP says an untuned 8-way processes up to 75% more transactions than its current LX Pro 4-way. Next year HP will be incorporating Microsoft Corp’s Cluster Server into its NetServer line, which are mainly used for data warehousing, Notes and Exchange work and running enterprise resource planning systems such as SAP.
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