With the dust settled on the announcement of its super clients and RS/6000s, IBM Corp is still left with no PowerPC servers running Solaris, Windows NT or other operating systems it has been promising. The only place that anyone could have looked hitherto has been its AIX-driven RS/6000 division, where last year the company seconded […]
With the dust settled on the announcement of its super clients and RS/6000s, IBM Corp is still left with no PowerPC servers running Solaris, Windows NT or other operating systems it has been promising. The only place that anyone could have looked hitherto has been its AIX-driven RS/6000 division, where last year the company seconded Michael Coleman from the Personal Computer Co to organise – apparently among other things – personal computer-style 604 servers and multiprocessors. If anyone was going to create PowerPC servers with non-AIX operating systems, insiders had said, it would have been he. Coleman, and what became the PC Server unit inside the RS/6000 division, claims responsibility for the technology deployed in the new crop of AIX-running 604-based RS/6000 workstations and servers announced last week, along with the AIX and NT Power Series desktops from the Power Personal Systems Division – half of which, if you look closely, the same boxes in different clothing (CI No 2,687). But there is still no hint of Solaris or NT servers, because, as the RS/6000 division’s new chief, Irving Wladawsky-Berger, said, IBM wants to keep the division an AIX-only affair (CI No 2,681).
So IBM has given Coleman the job of handling foreign operating systems, and in the last four months it has quietly spun out his unit into a separate 200-person PC Server division reporting directly to IBM senior vice-president and head of its amalgamated server business, Nick Donofrio, as do the RS/6000, AS/400 and System 390 units. Coleman, who was once vice-president of marketing and brand management at the IBM Personal Computer Co, and later general manager, Personal Computer Co – Servers, a worldwide unit designed to pull together the development and marketing of all personal computer-based servers, has inherited some one- to six-way PCI/Micro Channel/EISA iAPX-86 servers from his former postings, and these are now part of the new PC Server Division. Coleman is selling these with OS/2, Windows and NetWare and will currently support – but not sell – Windows NT, Santa Cruz Unix and Banyan Systems Inc’s Vines on them. His task appears to be to take the guts of the PowerPC 604 PCI-based Power Personals, which are internally the same machines as the entry-level RS/6000 workstations, and rebuild them into something that looks on the outside like one of his iAPX-86 servers. When this might happen, Coleman has not said, and why it has not happened yet we do not know, but these machines will be vehicles for Solaris and NT and other operating systems. Coleman is also currently handling special bids. If someone wanted a bunch of Wladawsky-Berger’s new entry-level RS/6000 43P workstations, and wanted to run Solaris and NT or another server operating system on them, the account would be referred to Coleman and he would put it together. Otherwise, 60% of his current business is coming from low end 300 series PCI/EISA Pentium boxes configured as NetWare local network servers. Another 35% derives from one- and two-way PCI/Micro Channel 320s and Micro Channel-based 500s, which mostly go out with OS/2, sometimes with NetWare or NT, loaded. The remainder comes from an OS/2 one- to six-way 720 PCI/Micro Channel superserver. Other configurations are on the way, together with a 3.0 release of IBM’s NetFinity systems management software designed for the personal computer servers. Coleman has vice-president of server systems Bill Hoke leading his development team.