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September 23, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 8:39pm

NETWORK ENGINES TO CHALLENGE TANDEM, DOLPHIN?

By CBR Staff Writer

Yet another company providing a proprietary high-speed interconnect to link Intel Corp chips is set to put its head above the parapet next month. Our sister publication ClieNT Server News hears seven-year-old Randolph, Massachusetts-based Network Engines Inc is set to debut an interconnect at Networld+Interop in Atlanta next month that it will OEM up against competition from Tandem Computers Inc and Dolphin Interconnect Solutions Inc. The multi-gigabit per second technology is to be introduced in a third-generation fault- tolerant clustered application server, the P6000EXP, that is currently in beta. Volumes of the system, which can support 10 boards each with one or two Pentium or Pentium Pros are expected by mid-1998. The servers can be daisy-chained so that as many as 60 dual-processor engines can be configured in a single rack cabinet. The system will utilize Windows NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition’s Server Cluster (Wolfpack) and run a copy of the operating system on each application engine (board) – which can be managed as a single entity. There’s a separate embedded processor responsible for failover and monitoring that can be scripted as to how to recover and how to alert the user that there’s a problem. They’re bound for the corporate data centers of phone companies, public network carriers and ISPs. The system’s fault-tolerance is based on redundant power supplies and backplanes (there can be three of each.) It also supports hot swappable drives. Although NT is the focus of its initial product offering, Don Adams, Network Engine’s director of technical services told Computergram that the company will be able to support any operating system that will run on SMP Intel boxes, including Unix. Adams says Network Engine’s interconnect is both faster and can support a greater number of processors than Tandem or Dolphin. The 16-person Network Engines is run by CEO and chief technology officer Lawrence Genovesi, formerly with DEC’s early DECnet development. It’s existed since 1989 with just $500,000 in investment plus revenues from such as its P5000 and P6000 proof- of-concept machine, which ran NT and UnixWare. Earlier this year it got $1m venture capital funding from Pioneer Capital Corp for development, manufacturing and marketing.

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