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February 25, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Intel Corp, which feels it has now won most of the battle over performance against the RISC server vendors, still isn’t satisfied with the industry perception that Intel-based servers aren’t the obvious choice for internet service providers. At its Developer Forum this week, John Miner, VP and general manager of the Enterprise Server Group at Intel, urged OEMs and software developers to address the continuing shortcomings of Intel servers from the ISP perspective, and offer more of a challenge to the incumbent ISP hardware suppliers, particularly Sun Microsystems Inc. Intel said it had carried out a survey of 8,000 individuals at 5,000 ISPs, and came out with a list of what it’s been missing. At the top of the list was support for whatever operating system the ISPs wanted, typically Unix, or increasingly Linux. ISPs also need high-density, rack-mounted form factors for their web farms. High performance I/O and out of the box I/O expansion, shared storage, load balancing and failover were a third set of requirements. And complete remote light-out management and full-availability were also essentials to ISPs. Miner said that sales of Intel four-way servers more than doubled between the second and fourth quarter of 1998, and that the VI architecture and clustering technologies introduced over the last year had significantly changed the scalability, reliability and availability levels of Intel-based servers. SAP R/3, TPC-C and D, and SPECweb96 benchmarks all show Intel servers moving ahead of RISC for up to four-way servers, and Intel says its cost per TPC- C ratio ($22 for 4 CPUs) and cost per TPC-D ($83 per 100Gb) are well below comparable figures for Sparc, PowerPC and Alpha-based servers.

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