As part of its strategy to reclaim the game, Silicon Graphics Inc will start to do something new; use its technical prowess to make its servers more attractive to lucrative mid-range commercial accounts and to implement, where appropriate, industry standard APIs on its Irix Unix to woo ISVs. To fulfill the first requirement, SGI has […]
As part of its strategy to reclaim the game, Silicon Graphics Inc will start to do something new; use its technical prowess to make its servers more attractive to lucrative mid-range commercial accounts and to implement, where appropriate, industry standard APIs on its Irix Unix to woo ISVs. To fulfill the first requirement, SGI has quietly begun to test the water with pre- configured HANS high-available networked server solutions that package two Origin200 Unix servers each with one or two processors, plus NFS, high-availability NFS, WebForce, failover and a range on management software. They’re targeted at a market ranging from ISPs to departments and depending on response from the field will get a fanfare introduction probably around the time CEO Rick Belluzzo unveils SGI’s new game plan at the end of next month. SGI has stripped some of the features from its Array clustering and FailSafe failover offerings which target the scientific and technical communities and is recasting them as the Partitioned Software Environment for commercial clustering and failover. Moreover it is currently evaluating the potential use of third party clustering APIs on Irix, notably Microsoft Corp Wolfpack. It’s going after the commercial HA crowd because, it says, of two realizations. One: it didn’t know it had such a strong clustering base until it started to investigate use of third party technologies; and two: that when it kicked the tires of other clustering technologies such as IBM Phoenix or Sun Full Moon it realized they aren’t really APIs at all but scripting shells. At least Wolfpack – which it is currently pulling apart to see if it can be made to work on Irix – is real, it observes. It is also evaluating others. It claims NCR Corp, supposedly an HA leader with its LifeKeeper software, has only 725 HA installations. SGI, which never figured it was really a player as 425 sites with two or more nodes in failover configurations. SGI is also putting together a raft of new systems management facilities in a bid to attract commercial customers. Management has historically not been an issue for users of its mid-range technical servers, it admits. Advanced Server Environment will layer atop the current Irix 6.4 – 6.5 will be formally introduced in a blaze of publicity in around six weeks’ time following Belluzzo’s strategy outline. A $1,200 layered package aimed at all markets includes NFS; Syntax Totalnet for interoperability with NT, Windows, Mac and Novell clients; DCE Client; HP-UX MIB/SNMP for network manageability; DBA for database optimization; Propel home-grown software distribution; Enlighten agents for managing Unix and NT environment; and Unicenter TNG framework. SGI already offers HP OpenView and supports both Tivoli and CA systems management on its servers. In addition to existing monitoring solutions it offers such as Performance CoPilot and Softway’s Share2 resource manager, SGI is working on a unified naming service manager that will administer all name and directory services while RoboInst, due in the fourth quarter, is what it describes as a beefed up version of Sun’s JumpStart installation and configuration tools.