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RealTime IT News

Fujitsu, Microsoft Focus on the Mainframe

At an event in Tokyo Monday, Fujitsu Chairman Naoyuki Akikusa and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer signed a pact satisfying Microsoft's continued quest to put Windows in larger servers.

The partnership will allow the companies to work together on Fujitsu's next-generation Intel Itanium Processor Family-based server running Windows Server 2003 (expected to launch in the first half of 2005) and its next-generation Windows Server (code-named "Longhorn" Server).

Tokyo-based Fujitsu has decades of experience putting together large-scale systems. The company has several supercomputers on the Top500 list, including a cluster currently ranked number 7 and two mainframes residing at numbers 22 and 24. Microsoft is starting to make headway into systems larger than two- and four-way servers.

Microsoft is exploring high-performance computing and developing a Windows High Performance Computing edition.

"Fujitsu's heritage and strengths in mainframe computing, combined with Microsoft's latest Windows Server System software, can enable enterprise customers to optimize the strategic value of their IT investments on the Windows platform and better execute on mission-critical objectives," Ballmer said in a statement.

In addition to development, Microsoft said it would mesh its .NET software into Fujitsu's TRIOLE, the company's virtualization and provisioning strategy that competes with IBM, HP and Sun. Microsoft and Fujitsu said they have been developing TRIOLE Pi (platform integration) templates, which are building blocks based on Windows Server 2003, the .NET Framework and SQL Server 2000. In addition, the companies said they will jointly establish a proof-of-concept center at the Fujitsu IA Solution Center in Japan in the second half of 2004.

In the system management area, Fujitsu and Microsoft also pledged to improve the interoperability between Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) and Fujitsu's Systemwalker family of products, which includes establishing a joint engineering support team at the Global Escalation Center at Microsoft headquarters in the second half of 2004. The goal is to evolve and enhance Fujitsu's software products -- such as NetCOBOL for .NET and Interstage Business Application Manager for .NET -- to help customers migrate and reform traditional enterprise applications to next-generation, Web services-based environments on the Microsoft Windows and .NET platforms.

The companies said the worldwide joint effort should net them approximately $7.2 billion in 2007, with the sales of Fujitsu hardware systems, software products and services for platform businesses based on Microsoft technologies.