HP Support Watch software and services extended to the HP 9000 Series 800 Unix line Continuing its relentless campaign to spook IBM Corp and its acolytes with support products for Unix systems that match those available for mainframes, and offer them at a fraction of the price, Hewlett-Packard Co has launched HP Support Watch, describing […]
HP Support Watch software and services extended to the HP 9000 Series 800 Unix line
Continuing its relentless campaign to spook IBM Corp and its acolytes with support products for Unix systems that match those available for mainframes, and offer them at a fraction of the price, Hewlett-Packard Co has launched HP Support Watch, describing it as a comprehensive support-management tool that increases the value of systems-maintenance services for its Unix customers. HP Support Watch monitors clusters of Unix computers and provides early warning of potential problems with system memory, disk and tape drives. It is designed to give customers a simple, comprehensive and affordable way to track the performance of their complete system, take preventive steps to avoid problems and work directly with Hewlett-Packard engineers to correct problems that occur. It includes Remote Watch, a proactive cluster-monitoring tool for Unix computers, and Predictive Support, a program that provides early warning of potential problems. The capabilities are already available on HP 3000 systems. The cluster-monitoring software also provides local remote-support capabilities to simplify workstation administration. It automatically tracks system configurations; reports key findings via electronic mail; and archives any information on error messages, security and exceeded thresholds. It treats the entire cluster of systems – server, clients and peripherals – as a single system; accesses information from specific nodes using networking daemons that eliminate the need to log on; and uses a Motif-based user interface that displays the logical map of a cluster, or of all clusters worldwide, connected via Internet at one central workstation, giving the system administrator access to all systems worldwide from a single site. If the customer contacts an HP Response Centre, a Hewlett-Packard engineer can use the cluster-monitoring software as a fault-isolation tool, accessing files on the customer’s system remotely to aid in troubleshooting, using the same graphical interface as the system administrator sees. Support Watch is intended to increase system up-time by transforming unplanned down-time into scheduled maintenance. It is designed to detect and resolve potential hardware failures before they turn into actual malfunctions. Predictive Support historically has resulted in 50% fewer service calls when installed on Hewlett-Packard’s MPE systems. The company also reckons that for worriers, the predictive tool provides the customer with the reassurance that the system is operating properly. It monitors potential problems in system memory, disk drives and tape media using rule-based software. A new set of rules, which specify thresholds that determine when predictive events are generated, can be downloaded onto systems covered by Predictive Support, enabling the latest product-coverage and error-detection expertise to be on each system without formal software updates. It resides on the customer’s system, continuously reads and analyses errors, and transmits messages to the system administrator and the Hewlett Response Center, which passes its diagnosis to a customer engineer who works with the customer to determine what specific measures need to be implemented. Support Watch is offered free to all customers that have the SuccessLine hardware-maintenance service, BasicLine software service or a higher level service, and Software Materials Service. HP 9000 Series 800 users also get a modem on their systems to use the predictive feature that automatically dials the Response Center to warn engineers of problems. It is only available on the Series 800 Unix machines, but a version without Predictive Support is offered for the HP 9000 300 and HP Apollo 9000 400 and 700
Pundits wax lyrical over new high graphics performance 486U family of Vectra micros…
All MS-DOS personal computers built around a given iteration of Intel Corp’s iAPX-86 architecture are pretty much the same, aren’t they. Well according to those that really know about these things, not exactly.
It’s not often that a new personal computer generates any excitement these days – too many companies are peddling endless me-too products, but Hewlett-Packard has been winning plaudits for its new HP Vectra 486U. One hot feature is the local bus, designed to speed communication between the elements of the system; there is also graphics accelerated video technology and free upgrade to the 66MHz internal 80486DX2 speed doubler chips when enough of them are available. The new models are the Vectra 486/25U, 486/33U and the 486/50U, with the promise of a Vectra 486/66U later this year. US customers that buy an HP Vectra 486/50U before August 31 will get a certificate good for a free 66MHz chip upgrade. The 486U machines are designed to compete with RISC-based workstations and the company claims that based on graphics performance benchmark results, the Vectra 486/50U PC is 150% faster than the higher-priced Sun Microsystems Inc Sparcstation 2 running AutoCAD 11, and under the PC-Labs WinBench 2.5 benchmark, outperforms competitive machines using the same microprocessor. The video-performance improvements result from a new Ultra VGA+ video subsystem that features an integrated high-speed, 32-bit local bus video implementation with S3 graphic accelerators designed to eliminate the video bottlenecks that occur when video data is transferred to or from the microprocessor. The video controller and a new HP Ultra VGA 17 colour display also provides workstation-image quality, supporting up to 1,024 by 768 resolution at 16 or 256 colours. Enhanced drivers for Windows 3.0 and 3.1, AutoCAD, AutoShade, 3D Studio, MicroStation, CADVance, DataCAD, CADkey and VersaCAD come standard with the system. Each model comes standard with an integrated HP Universal Processor Upgrade Socket that accepts Intel’s 80487SX, 80486, 80486DX2 and OverDrive microprocessors. A dual-speed system board can run at 25MHz or 33MHz, so users can upgrade from a 25MHz 80486SX machine to a 66MHz 80486DX2 box. Prices from under $3,000.
…and a Vectra 386/25N tops off the company’s secure network-ready line
The company also has a new top-end for its family of network-ready personal computers, the Vectra 386/25N, which starts at just $1,200. It is designed for system administrators and end-users and is claimed to offer the best value in its class. It has built-in network-security features and uses a 25MHz 80386SX. All models with disks have Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS 5.0 pre-installed. They can be preconfigured with a 16-bit unshielded twisted-pair, EtherTwist board with 32Kb input-output buffer to speed network data transmission. A boot ROM enables it to boot up from the network server or from a floppy or hard disk. The system administrator can use a password or a hardware switch to protect current configurations and security settings and there is a chassis lock. It has 25MHz memory cache controller with 16Kb of static, 4Mb and two slots, and is $1,200 with a 3.5 floppy.