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Big Blue to Regale Tech World with Regatta

As has been widely reported, IBM Corp. plans to go live next week with its answer to last week's super server announcement by its chief rival, Sun Microsystems Inc.

The company's dual-processor chip, Power4, will run the Unix server, code-named Regatta, at 32-processor configurations. IBM hasn't said much to date about the new Unix server, but some analysts have said the upper echelon machine will feature a slew of safeguard and diagnostics features that remove errors upon detection.

An IBM spokesperson would not divulge additional details about Regatta until next week.

The unveiling of Regatta follows StarCat, Sun's new 106-processor server. Priced at $1.4 million for starters with the potential to cost more than $10 million depending on what companies require, it is aimed directly at eliminating IBM mainframes.

It is expected that IBM's Regatta will not approach Sun's predilection for high numbers of processors, but will instead undercut StarCat's price tag -- it's basically IBM's modus operandi for climbing out of the server pitfall it fell into a few years back.

One thing the high-tech world can be sure of, however, is that Big Blue is gaining ground on Sun's Unix server dominance. For years, Sun seemed indomitable in this country with regards to its Unix server market share despite the fact that IBM is widely-acknowledged as the global leader in server sales.

Market research firm IDC said Big Blue remains in third place behind No. 1 Sun and No. 2 Hewlett-Packard Co. in Unix server market share, but managed to gain ground in the second quarter of 2001, while the firms it trails lost ground amid the parched economic climate.