Axil Computer Inc, Santa Clara, California plans to add a second server offering to its range. Called the AxilServer S/400, it is running what Axil claims will be the first implementation of SunSoft Inc’s Solaris 2.4. The one-to-four-way unit will be Axil’s top-of-the-range system, and although it has is effectively an enhanced version of Sun’s […]
Axil Computer Inc, Santa Clara, California plans to add a second server offering to its range. Called the AxilServer S/400, it is running what Axil claims will be the first implementation of SunSoft Inc’s Solaris 2.4. The one-to-four-way unit will be Axil’s top-of-the-range system, and although it has is effectively an enhanced version of Sun’s Sparcserver 20 configuration, Axil plots the competition as Sun’s mid-range Sparcserver 1000, RS/6000 Model 570 and HP 9000/800 G40. The Hyundai Electronics America affiliate is plunging into the stunted Sparc-compatible market by touting its custom-built Application Specific Integrated Circuits for use with the processor and is one of a growing band now offering systems with 66MHz Ross Technology HyperSparcs or 50MHz and 60MHz SuperSparcs. This band does not yet include Sun. Axil has not done a lot of HyperSparc business and has only shipped parts since July. Indeed the new system runs Solaris 2.4, which is the first iteration of the operating system that does not require a patch to run on HyperSparc in any case. Axil puts a four-way 50MHz S/400 at half the price and 15% greater performance than an existing four-way SparcServer 1000, 6,034 SPECrate_int92 compared with the 1000’s 5,318 SPECrate_int92. Its claims suggest a marginal performance advantage when comparing a two-way 60MHz S/400 with 1Mb second level cache on each processor with one of Sun’s two-way 1000Es. Axil uses a 50MHz MBus to tie up to four processors together. It does not have the Xerox Corp XDbus which Sun uses on its one-to-20-processor server lines. Axil would not say whether it will go above four-ways, but it admits it would have to license XDbus for the job. The S/400 Model 5.1.4 comes as a processor box with one-to-four 50MHz SuperSparcs, 32Mb to 512Mb RAM, 1Gb disk and up to nine SBus slots; a media box with CD-ROM and Digital Audio Tape; plus a disk cabinet with up to four 4.2Gb drives.
With one processor, 32Mb RAM, 1Gb disk and Solaris 2.4 it is from $36,000. Solaris 2.4 improvements over 2.3 at the kernel and file system level include multi-user performance, Network File System, database software and more threaded libraries, providing 10% to 15% overall performance improvements, according to Axil’s figures. Online:DiskSuite 3.0, including disk mirroring, file system and database partitions, file striping across multiple disk drives and volumes and logging universal file system for file system recovery is bundled, as is journalling file system, AnswerBook and Legato NetWorker. Version 2.4 includes X11.4 client and server versions, Motif run-time and, for the first time, a bundled Common Desktop Environment. It also fixes previous requirements for 65 patches to Solaris 2.3, Axil says. From November, Axil will also offer 70MHz and 85MHz microSparc II upgrade boards to get SparcStation 1, 1+ and 2 users up to SparcStation 5-class without having to trade in whole systems under its Axilerate programme. It will offer 110MHz microSparc IIs when Sparc Technology Business ships them, and says customers can also keep their 80nS RAM, existing drives and GX SBus graphics boards for use with the Axilerate board. Axilerate 70 is $2,500, the 80MHz version is $3,000 and a 110MHz upgrade will be $3,500. Axil quotes International Data Corp numbers suggesting there is a market of 270,380 SparcStation 1, 1+ and 2 users to aim at. Axil says Ross’ 100MHz HyperSparc, which is due in the first quarter of next year, will improve on Sun’s second revision of the SuperSparc, the 75MHz and 90MHz SuperSparc II, which is due to be announced over the next few days. Arun Taneja, former Univel Inc vice-president of marketing, now holds that post at Axil; William Shellooe, former vice-president, sales and marketing, is working on sales.