The stop-gap Arete 800, announced a week or two back (CI No 685) is being targetted for a range of commercial transaction processing applications. Arete Systems Corp claims that the 800 system is ideal for on-line applications like office automation, general business, and particularly transaction processing of five to 10 transactions per second. Arete is also claiming high reliability and high availability for the 800 and cites as proof previous systems’ mean-time-between-failure rate of more than 13 months. The Arete 800 system offers a distributed architecture that includes up to two tightly-coupled Applications Processors, up to two Database Processors and up to five Data Communications Processors. The San Jose, California company, soon to be acquired by Plexus Computer if all goes well, claims that the entry-level system is fully compatible with the rest of its line, which comprises the 900, 1200, and 1600 systems. Arete claims that the 800 with two 12.5MHz MC68020 Applications Processors provides three times the performance at half the price of an NCR Tower 32/800. The 800 distributed architecture can include one or two 12.5MHz CPUs with floating point co-processor; up to 16Mb of shared memory; 5.25 and 8 disks with a total of up to 5.5Gb of storage; up to 14Gb of optical disk storage; interfaces from 16 to 128 users; 60Mb of quarter-inch streaming cartridge tape storage and support for various nine-track tape drives. The 800 system uses version 4.0 of Arix V.2, Arete’s implementation of Unix System V.2.22 that includes some V.3 enhancements. An entry-level, single processor 800 is around $30,000, and the multiprocessor configuration begins at $38,000. Arete Systems was founded in 1982; its biggest claim to fame is that it supplies key models in the Unisys – nee Sperry – bought-in Unix systems product line that also includes the NCR Tower machines that Arete slags off in its announcement of the new box.
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