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February 18, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:08pm

LIKE TRICORD, NETFRAME HAS NO FUN AS SPECIALIST SERVER FIRM

By CBR Staff Writer

Tricord Systems Inc is not the only Pentium-focused server company going through hard times (CI No 3,100). NetFrame Systems Inc, struggling to make the transition from systems based on its old proprietary bus to new models built using the standard PCI bus, turned in a loss for both the quarter and the year ended December 28 on sliding sales. The company blamed the transition – forced on it by customer resistance to buying just about any proprietary hardware in the NT market – for its fourth quarter loss of $12.7m and year-end loss of $27.9m, compared with 1995 losses of $175,000 and $8.1m respectively. NetFrame president and chief executive Bob Puette said sales of NetFrame’s old NF8500 plummeted immediately after the company announced its new generation ClusterServer NF9000 last October, resulting in depressed sales during the quarter of $17.3m, down 19%. Sales for the year took a smaller hit, off 3% to $74.4m. Puette was cautious in predicting future results, but said that customers had reported positive initial impressions of the NF9000. The NF9000, a four-way Pentium Pro box with triple-peer PCI buses, was just about the first to market with software support for the upcoming I20 input-output specification built in. It can support up to 16 intelligent input-output processors and up to 210 hot pluggable storage devices. NetFrame co-founder Carlton Amdahl is a consultant to the 120 Special Interest Group; his company contributed up to 70% of the 120 specification.

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