Amdahl Corp yesterday became the first manufacturer of IBM-compatible mainframes to announce a switch to super-fast static random access memory chips for main memory, and added a sixth model to its 5990 line of IBMulators and added functionality to its Multiple Domain Feature hardware partitioning. The Sunnyvale, California company also announced that it plans to […]
Amdahl Corp yesterday became the first manufacturer of IBM-compatible mainframes to announce a switch to super-fast static random access memory chips for main memory, and added a sixth model to its 5990 line of IBMulators and added functionality to its Multiple Domain Feature hardware partitioning. The Sunnyvale, California company also announced that it plans to double the amount of main storage available on all its 5990 dual and multi-processors. The sixth model in the 5990 line is the 5990-790 two-way multiprocessor, an entry-level multiprocessor with approximately the same power as the company’s 5990-700 dual processor but up to twice the memory and channels. Fully configured, the 5990-790 will be able to support up to 512Mb of main storage, 2Gb of expanded storage, and 128 channels. Throughput of the new system in partitioned mode is twice that of a 5990-350 uniprocessor; in single-image mode, up to 98% of a 5990-700 dual processor. The company plans to switch to 1M static RAMs for main memory in the fourth quarter of next year, enabling up to 1Gb of main memory to be offered on each of the three 5990 multiprocessors, and up to 512Mb on the two dual processors. The minimum configurations for 5990 expanded storage will be reduced in the second quarter of 1990. The first 512Mb expanded storage can then be added in 64Mb rather than 128Mb increments, providing a more gradual upgrade path to larger configurations. Beyond 512Mb, increments of 128Mb will be offered to a maximum of 1Gb on uniprocessors and dual processors and 2Gb on multiprocessors; and, as with the new IBM 3990Js, users will be able to configure main storage, expanded storage and channels asymmetrically on all 5990 multiprocessors. The enhancements to Multiple Domain Feature – which supports seven partitions on a uni or dual processor, up to 14 on a multi with automatic or simplified means of reallocating both processing time and input-output channels among domains, giving users the ability dynamically to readjust performance relative to changing workloads in order to optimise throughput. Users running Transaction Processing Facility in multiple domains will also be able to synchronise time-of-day clocks, producing consistent time stamps for records written from different domains. A new MDF Performance Tool will also assist in monitoring and tuning the system, in supporting the capacity planning function, and in adjusting domains to changing workloads. The enhancements will be available at no additional charge in the second quarter 1990 except the Performance Tool, which follows in the fourth quarter 1990. In its basic configuration, the 5990-790 with 128Mb main storage and 64 channels will be $7.5m and deliveries begin in February. In responding to the IBM announcementc, the only model where Amdahl feels the need to enhance performance is the 5990-500 dual, to offer 77% of the 5990-700 dual, up from 70% announced in April, at an unchanged $4.62m.