By William Fellows Amdahl Corp has duly announced its new 16-way CMOS Millennium mainframe server as the 2000E, along with a 12-way, the 2000C, and at the same time re-positioned the performance-challenged 800 series, now dubbed the 2000A. A new four-way chipset – each one- inch square CPU has 10m gates – produced by parent […]
By William Fellows
Amdahl Corp has duly announced its new 16-way CMOS Millennium mainframe server as the 2000E, along with a 12-way, the 2000C, and at the same time re-positioned the performance-challenged 800 series, now dubbed the 2000A. A new four-way chipset – each one- inch square CPU has 10m gates – produced by parent Fujitsu Ltd in a copper manufacturing process, enables Amdahl to connect four modules together in a single image. At 1,600 MIPS, Amdahl claims a 12-way implementation due by year-end will match the performance of IBM Corp’s high-end 12-way G6 servers, while the 16-way 2000E due in the first quarter will exceed all other CMOS system performance.
If the industry takes Amdahl’s claims with a pinch of salt it will be because the company’s existing 12-way 800 series is claimed to underperform by up to 15%, bringing performance down to 935 MIPS, compared to the 1,075 MIPS it had been expected to deliver, with uniprocessor speeds down to 112 MIPS. IBM and Hitachi G6 implementations already now offer uniprocessors with more than 200 MIPS and multiprocessors with 1,600 MIPS-plus. Amdahl told us last year that it expected its own copper boxes to exceed 2,000 MIPS, but now admits that the model it used to estimate the eventual performance of the 800 when the system was under development was flawed. However, it claims that even those customers mentioned in press reports as having 800s compared with the spec sheets were still happy with the system itself. Meta Group analysts note that with fewer than sixty 800s installed, field problems are manageable, but advises users to revise expectations and payment terms accordingly. It has moved the dynamic usage pricing and MSF multiple server feature which creates discrete servers with unique serial numbers in a single footprint, on to the 2000s.
Amdahl says it is still evaluating whether to produce a so-called Universal Server which would run multiple operating systems, including emulated OS/390, NT and Unix on Intel chips. It began talking about such a design early last year but says there is not yet the right price point for an emulated OS/390 product, moreover it hasn’t figured out whether it could be a real business yet. It has several options under consideration, it says.
Amdahl claims the number two CMOS market share position but admits that revenue will flatten, which is why it is putting as much momentum as it can behind an effort to sell end-to-end packaged products and services through its Global Solutions organization rather than point products.
Meanwhile, Amdahl says it has integrated its Enview network application monitoring and Starmanager programs to work with Tivoli’s TME systems management applications. IBM’s Tivoli storage management software is now one of six backup products supported by its Starmanager and Starvault storage automation products.