With Turbo Laser apparently key to Digital Equipment Corp’s strategic turnaround and the growth of its core business, chief executive Robert Palmer billed last week’s announcement the most important since he took over two years ago. Ellison was excited enough to describe the combination as the first Unix combination that is faster and more reliable […]
With Turbo Laser apparently key to Digital Equipment Corp’s strategic turnaround and the growth of its core business, chief executive Robert Palmer billed last week’s announcement the most important since he took over two years ago. Ellison was excited enough to describe the combination as the first Unix combination that is faster and more reliable than a mainframe, citing one customer that benchmarked IBM Corp’s DB2 on a $20m IBMulator, against Oracle7 on a $1m AlphaServer, and found that one application that took nine hours on the mainframe took 30 minutes on the AlphaServer (CI No 2,643). One problem is, as analyst Amy Wohl pointed out, that the cost of the system is, on average, down in seventh place in users’ lists of considerations for moving to open systems, while overall cost of servers is small compared with cost of the end-users they support. With the addition of a Peripheral Component Interconnect Memory Channel from its Alpha partner Encore Computer Corp (on AlphaServer 2100s this summer, on Turbo Lasers in the autumn), DEC expects to be able to string up to four, and then eight, systems together as AdvantageCluster Production Servers, and promises to overhaul Tandem Computer Inc’s industry-leading 20,000 tpm-C performance by July. Full cluster file system and single-view system management environments will not figure until 1996. DEC estimates Turbo Laser uniprocessors at 425 tpm-C, six-ways at 2,000 tpm-C and 12-ways at better than 3,000 tpm-C. The 8400 goes to 91,580 SPECrate_int92, 140,571 SPECrate_fp92 and some 9,000 AIMs (compared with 4,000 on the biggest 7000 system) as a 12-way, with a maximum 144 Peripheral Component Interconnect slots and over 10Tb disk. It comes in the same housing as DEC’s previous top-end 7000 series. The 8200 goes to 50,000 SPECrate_int92 and 71,000 SPECrate_fp92 as a six-way with 108 PCI slots. Both use DEC’s 300MHz 21164 version of EV5 Alpha AXP – DEC already sees two further generations of this part destined for future Turbo Laser models. Prices are $100,000 for a uniprocessor 8200 with 128Mb RAM, 2Gb disk, Digital Unix or OpenVMS, also available as a rackmount; an 8400 with 256Mb RAM and 2Gb disk costs from $195,000. Very Large Memory will be available on OpenVMS as soon as the 64-bit version of that operating system is finished at the end of the year. NT will figure later, DEC says. The Turbo Lasers are out in May. Very Large Memory is an option for existing Oracle7.1.6 and Rdb 6.1 users – it will be free of charge for customers of the next Rdb and Oracle7.2.2 releases.