RealTime IT News

Unisys Bows Madison-ized "Dylan" Family

Timed to coincide with Intel's launch, Unisys on Monday will unveil its ES7000/400 series -- an expansion to its enterprise server line built around the latest generation of Itanium 2 (code-named "Madison") with processing capabilities starting at four-way and expandable to a 32-processor model targeted for high-end computing.

The ES7000/400 server models, which consists of the 410 (four to eight processors and up to 64GB of memory), 420 (eight to 16 processors and up to 128GB of memory), and 430 (up to 32 processors in two 16x domains and up to 256GB of memory) is comparable to being a Madison-based version of the ES7000/500 series, which was code-named "Dylan," according to Mark Feverston, vice president, Unisys Enterprise Server Marketing.

As a long-time supporter of the so-called "WinTel" (Windows/Intel) platform, Blue Bell, Pa.-based Unisys launched its 500 series back in April timed to coincide with Microsoft's marketing push behind the Windows Server 2003 launch. With Monday's Itanium update, Unisys now has the opportunity to expand to lower entry pricing points to capture a market that wasn't available with servers based on Intel's predecessor to the Madison processor, "McKinley."

"We think it is the sweet spot for commercial processing," Feverston said referring to the 4- to 16-bit computing space. Unisys's McKinley-based servers began with an 8-way processor configuration as its entry point.

"4- to 16- is the sweetspot for commercial applications. Above 16-way tends to be the domain of high performance computing. For commercial space, we think we are in the right space at the moment," he told internetnews.com.

But that's not to say that the demand won't materialize for higher performance computing. In fact, of Unisys's existing Itanium customer base, only 30 percent use the hardware solely for database purposes. As much as 60 percent of Unisys's existing Itanium customer base use the servers for business intelligence, analytics or some other processor-intensive data center function.

Taking advantage of the increased memory addressability of Itanium 2, the ES7000/400 servers are built for memory-intensive applications such as online analytical processing (OLAP) for decision support and the consolidation of multiple file-and-print servers. In addition, customers have the option of doubling the amount of memory available when they need it, by adding 2-Gigabyte dual in-line memory modules (DIMM).

Feverston said anyone that bought previous Itanium models who wish to upgrade can do so in about 90 days when the company releases upgrade kits. "In general, the upgrade has very little impact on operations so it's not disruptive," he reassured.

The ES7000/410 starts at $55,000, 420 at $115,000 and 430 at $220,000. All models are available immediately.