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Unisys Debuts New High-End Mainframe

Mainframe specialist Unisys Monday debuted a new high-end mainframe that touts support for .NET and J2EE, all in line with its Business Blueprinting initiative which aims to help organizations cut technology costs while supporting business processes.

The new machine, the ClearPath Plus Libra 185 boasts a new Unisys-designed CMOS processor which the company said delivers 25 percent more scalability than the previous version and clocks in at 10,500 MIPS. It features up to 32 CMOS processors, up to 24 Intel Xeon processors, up to 64GB of memory, and the Unisys Cellular MultiProcessing (CMP) server architecture (four-way, non-blocking crossbar interconnect).

Unisys said it supports Unisys ClearPath MCP, Virtual Machine for ClearPath MCP (MCPvm), Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server and Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and Datacenter Edition, and SCO UnixWare.

The company is highlighting the addition of .NET and J2EE support to its Enterprise Application Environment (EAE) with the new mainframe. The EAE is a software development toolset for ClearPath server customers. Unisys noted that with support for .NET and J2EE, EAE can now help customers define business processes, automatically generate applications based on COBOL, .NET and J2EE to support them, and deploy the applications throughout the enterprise.

Unisys is also pointing to future availability of metered performance provisioning which provides the foundational infrastructure needed for utility-style provisioning of computing requirements. The feature will allow customer organizations to increase or decrease performance as needed, and to pay only for the performance they use.

"The new ClearPath Plus Libra 185 is the most powerful and versatile mainframe we've ever built," said Kevin McHugh, vice president of Unisys Platform Marketing. "More importantly, it brings together the technologies and services created to fulfill the promise of Business Blueprinting: to create an IT infrastructure that quickly adapts to changing business needs."

Depending on configuration, the ClearPath Plus Libra 185 is available for between $1.1 million and $22.3 million.

The company has already sold the Libra 185 to United Fire and Casualty Group, which cited its ability to support disaster recovery and business continuance functions as a core reason for the upgrade.