Fujitsu Ltd and its ICL Plc and Amdahl Corp affiliates will next week announce details of a strategic technology alliance, first fruits of which will be the creation of yet another common Unix application environment, to be supported across their respective (yet-to-be-announced in Amdahl’s case) Sparc RISC-based systems. The plan is to combine elements of […]
Fujitsu Ltd and its ICL Plc and Amdahl Corp affiliates will next week announce details of a strategic technology alliance, first fruits of which will be the creation of yet another common Unix application environment, to be supported across their respective (yet-to-be-announced in Amdahl’s case) Sparc RISC-based systems. The plan is to combine elements of their current Unix offerings – ICL’s DRS/NX Server, Fujitsu’s UPX implementations and Amdahl’s UTS mainframe Unix – and cross-license key value-added products, in a bid to win customers for a new breed of mid-range and high-end Sparc servers aimed at scientific and commercial Unix customers. Binary Unix compatibility across their respective systems – plus support for all SparcWare applications – will, the three say, offer independent software vendors a rich target environment. Amdahl says its own effort will do for the top-end of the Unix market what Novell Inc and Unix System Laboratories Inc are doing for low-end and desktop Unix. The chief executives of the three firms have been discussing the plan for five months and have now handed over the task of implementing the grand design to their operating systems managers. The plan should at once cut costs and overlapping and research and development efforts, but ICL (80% owned by Fujitsu) and Amdahl (in which Fujitsu has a 42% stake) stress that the impetus is not Fujitsu banging heads together. Other cross-licensing and manufacturing deals are expected to emerge from the new-found synergy in all product areas, the three have hinted. Fujitsu’s other Sparc system-building concern, the non-computer computer company, HaL Computer Systems Inc, was involved in the discussions but will play no part in the initial effort as it focused exclusively on 64-bit Sparc development. Under this latest Unix axis, Amdahl will offer Unix System V.4.1 ES/MP, XPG4 and Sparc Compliance Definition 2.1 compatibility, Sun Microsystems Inc’s Open Network Computing system, Open Software Foundation Distributed Computing Environment, Unix Labs’s Tuxedo transaction processing monitor, TCP/IP, SNA support, a new measurement package for getting system information into system management environments, a graphical performance monitor, support for various graphical user interfaces and Storage Technology Corp tape silos, UniTree file manager and Network System Corp’s Network Access system – much already featured in its UTS Unix. ICL and Fujitsu will create their own variants, adding lower-end features such as local area networking. No time-scales for introduction are set, but Amdahl does not plan an integrated application environment until its two lines of long-awaited Sparc machines are out – they’re now set for year-end and early next year respectively. The environment won’t be offered on Amdahl’s IBM Corp 3090-comp patible 5995M mainframes, although applications will be portable via UTS, which runs in a partition, and its Huron application dev elopment environment, which it supports across all its systems. UTS 4.1 is due next month, UTS 4.2 will coincide with release of Amdahl’s Sparc systems – the common Unix application environment will roll into UTS releases thereafter.