As expected (CI No 3,040), Siemens Nixdorf Infromationssystemes AG has created a one- to 24-way 200MHz Mips R10000-based Unix SMP Symmetric Multiprocessing server called the RM600E that supersedes its own RM600 line and the Nile 100 and 150 Models from its Pyramid Technology Corp subsidiary, which share the same central processing unit and subsystem architectures. The RM600E uses a cache coherent Non Uniform Memory Access architecture internally, enabling each processor on the quad-CPU boards to access memory on another board. Although when it first spoke to our sister publication, Unigram.X, about its RM600E plans, Siemens Nixdorf said it wouldn’t use ccNUMA, it now says that at that time we didn’t understand our own NUMA plans.
The RM600E will be used as the building block for creating large- scale configurations of clustered SMP systems and mixed SMP and MPP massively parallel environments. Oracle Parallel Server will enable eight RM600E nodes to be clustered together when the servers ship next quarter. By mid-year it will be possible to link as many as 20 RM600E systems using the PCI/Scalable Coherent Interconnect chip that Dolphin Interconnect Solutions A/S is building for it. By June, Siemens Nixdorf will also offer an interface board enabling RM600E to be integrated with Reliant Cluster configurations of the R1000 parallel system and current generations of Nile SMP servers in an arrangement it calls Smile. Smile will be demonstrated at a show in Siemens NIxdorf’s hometown of Paderborn, Germany, on February 17. Siemens Nixdorf has created a dual-bus architecture in RM600E and enhanced its Reliant Unix operating system to support ccNUMA, which means previous RM600 and Nile systems are not upgradable to the new server. Existing applications will run, but to take advantage of ccNUMA performance improvements of at least 45% they must be recompiled for the new architecture. A new implementation of the Synchronous Pipeline SPbus connects the quad boards and drives data through the system at a sustained 1.2Gbps. A new CPbus connects the processors on each board to their shared RAM and interface controllers. Each board accommodates up to four R10000s and 1Gb RAM, up to six boards can be fitted in a single system. Later this year, Siemens Nixdorf will introduce a version of its Reliant Unix V5.44 fitted with the 64-bit ‘Aspen’ extensions which will support up to 4Gb RAM per board. Reliant Unix V5.44 is almost equivalent in functionality to SVR4.2MP and Santa Cruz Operation Inc’s UnixWare, but not quite. Siemens Nixdorf estimated that the RM600E will do 19,000 transactions per minute. The RM600E comes in two models. The E20 with up to eight CPUs starts at $75,000 as a uniprocessor with up to 2Gb RAM and 1Tb disk. The 24-way E60 starts at $225,000 with two R10000s, up to 4Gb RAM and 3Tb disk. Siemens Nixdorf expects to skip the 275MHz R10000 and move to the 300MHz later this year. The RM2000 due later this year will enable Reliant Clusters to be linked with Tandem Computer Inc’s Intel-based ServerNet interconnect systems running NT. The two are fusing clustering software and developing hardware interconnections.