Digital Equipment Corp makes the fourth in a series of client-server announcements today, unveiling the 2100 Series of SMP servers, alongside enhancements to its Alpha-based OSF/1 and OpenVMS operating systems. Goodies include a new version of OSF/1 with symmetric multiprocessing support, a family of clustered file server products, and a version of the Distributed Computing […]
Digital Equipment Corp makes the fourth in a series of client-server announcements today, unveiling the 2100 Series of SMP servers, alongside enhancements to its Alpha-based OSF/1 and OpenVMS operating systems. Goodies include a new version of OSF/1 with symmetric multiprocessing support, a family of clustered file server products, and a version of the Distributed Computing Environment for Windows NT.
2100 Series of multiprocessor servers
The 2100 series will consist initially of two units, the A500 and A600 models. Either machine can take up to four Alpha chips, and both are targetted at customers in the commercial or technical sector. Functioning as local network super-servers, or high-capacity database servers, the PCI-based machines, intended to ship in large volumes, start at $18,900 for an entry-level deskside system, going up to $36,900. The products, intended to deliver a broadside to the likes of Hewlett-Packard Co, Sun Microsystems Inc and IBM Corp, have a maximum 32Mb and 170Mb of internal memory capacity respectively, and both have a maximum 32Gb internal disk. Both can address over 200Gb external storage at present with a promise of 1Tb capacity by the year end. They ship with OSF/1 V3.0 in April, Open VMS in May, Windows NT Advanced Server in June. There are also two new VAX boxes – the MicroVAX 3100 Model 95 costs $21,362 entry level and has 512Kb on-board cache, an SCSI controller, thick and thin Ethernet adaptor and anywhere from 16Mb to 128Mb memory. The VAX 4000 Model 105A has a 512Kb cache, and can be clustered with any mixture of Alpha or VAX systems. It supports DSSI-to-SCSI converters, and cost $25,700 with 32Mb memory and a two-user operating licence.
OSF/1 3.0 Unix supports up to six CPUs
DEC’s OSF/1 V3.0, as well as supporting symmetric multiprocessing on up to six CPUs, includes the ability to hotload drivers without needing to reboot. The system includes a Local Area Transport driver supporting 1,500 incoming sessions. OSF/1 3.0 is claimed to score 99% on SPEC 1170. DEC has implemented a new clustering family named AdvantageCluster Compute Server, which help users to configure Unix clusters. The architecture centres around either Ethernet or Gigaswitch, the latter being an Asynchronous Transfer Mode-ready collection of FDDI links. Pricing is from $55,000 to $1.4m. As part of an AdvantageCluster, users can buy the AdvantageCluster File Server, based on OSF/1 running on Alpha at $272,000, or the Available Server, designed for fault-tolerant use. The latest version of OpenVMS, 6.1, enables users of clustered systems to boot satellite systems across architectures. The system also supports Virtual Input/Output Cache, designed to reduce input-output bottlenecks. DEC is launching version 1.2 of Distributed Computing Environment for OpenVMS. In the pipeline for OpenVMS are: a log-structured file system to raise throughput, full 64-bit virtual addressing for applications that use over 2Gb memory, a Windows personal computer-based Systems Management Station, with graphical user interface for remote management of OpenVMS clusters, a version of the OSF/DCE Distributed File System and XPG4 branding. Apart from praising up Daytona, Microsoft Corp’s beta version of Windows NT Advanced Server, DEC also added a version of the Distributed Computing Environment for NT. This helps developers to back-end NT into client-server implementations.
New TechAdvantage range of tools for applications development
DEC has launched its TechAdvantage software range, which is a collection of tools for applications development. The company has launched Fortran 90 version 1.0, including an Alpha compiler. It also launched the Parallel Software Environment for Fortran, alongside an implementation of Fortran-77, and a set of extensions for C programmers which include tools like the DEC OSF/1 compiler, assembler and software development environment. Also behind the curtain today were the DEC C++ compiler, a workstation-based programming environment called DEC FUSE, and a third party tool, the Load Sharing Facility, which
automatically distributes jobs to the least loaded system in a multivendor Unix network. Also launched were the Digital Extended Math Libraries, which are a set of AXP-optimised maths routines, and pre-processors for Fortran 77 and C which restructure code for optimal performance, called the Kuck & Associates Preprocessor.
Client, server versions of Infobroker X500-based directory services
DEC has launched client and server version of Infobroker, its X.500-based directory services for the workgroup. The client version runs under Windows and the server version runs under OSF/1. The product, which stores information about users and resources, costs under $40 for the client version, and under $1,000 for the server version. DEC has launched the Pathworks Developer’s Kit, providing a set of software development tools for client-server applications. This includes a set of middleware products that helps updates to legacy applications. These include the developer’s edition of the firm’s ObjectBroker product, alongside the Digital DCE developer’s kit and the DECMessageQ Developer’s services product which handles queued messaging. The package also includes the Application Programming Interfaces for Pathworks and ManageWorks, its network operating systems. The Pathworks kit runs under Windows, Windows NT, OSF/1 and OpenVMS. The product will start to ship in June, with versions for all systems available by August. The product starts at $500. DEC has also launched a Turbochannel-to-FDDI adaptor. The product can connect to servers in an FDDI ring without using a concentrator or hub, and cost $1,350, next month. Meanwhile, the InfoServer 1000 and SW1000 modules are intelligent SCSI controllers for the network, enabling devices attached to the server to to be shared in a local area network. They ship from May and start at $2,760. Other products include version 1.1 of the DEC SNA 3270 Application Services, middleware for client-server applications in an SNA network, linking DEC servers and clients attached to IBM systems. This version contains a library of callable routines and other components for building applications supporting 3270 data streams. It ships now, starting at $4,032. Other things include the Etherworks Turbo PCI and EISA adaptors, shipping from May and costing $300 and $500 respectively. On the messaging integration side, version 2.0 of the DEC/EDI for OpenVMS product is said (by DEC, oddly enough) to offer a five-fold performance increase over previous versions. The latest edition includes the EDI Cockpit, which is a Windows-based user interface, and new clients for OSF/1 and OpenVMS. It is shipping now and will cost $9,000.