Solbourne Computer Inc, Longmont, Colorado, plans to deliver versions of its symmetric multiprocessing Sparc server architecture with a least 20 CPUs by the time Sun Microsystems Inc manages to wheel out its own 20-way SparcCenter 2000, set for the end of next year. By then Solbourne should have stepped up from its initial superscalar Sparc […]
Solbourne Computer Inc, Longmont, Colorado, plans to deliver versions of its symmetric multiprocessing Sparc server architecture with a least 20 CPUs by the time Sun Microsystems Inc manages to wheel out its own 20-way SparcCenter 2000, set for the end of next year. By then Solbourne should have stepped up from its initial superscalar Sparc Series 6 servers to the Series 7. Unlike Sunsoft Inc, Solbourne is not in the process of trying to upgrade its operating system to cope with the requirements of large-scale symmetric multiprocessor systems, it has had that work under its belt for many moons. What it doesn’t currently offer is Unix System V.4 compatibility, and Solbourne commits only to a gradual migration to Solaris over a two-year period. Solaris degrades performance… and is not well balanced yet for multiprocessing, the company says. Since the departure of company founder and chief executive Doug MacGregor earlier this year – he paid the price for Solbourne’s fiscal 1991, which was, by its own admission, an apalling year relations between Solbourne and its majority shareholder, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co have warmed considerably, officials now say. However with Sun and other compatible players moving into the Sparc symmetric multiprocessing market, which Solbourne has had more or less to itself for some time, the company says it is being forced to look at other ways of differentiating its products.
Compare very favourably
It is turning first to the Oracle Corp Financials world, a niche market, it admits, but one that has helped nurture the rapid growth of database server companies like Sequent Computer Systems Inc. Solbourne reckons its systems compare very favourably with Sequent’s Intel Corp-based symmetric multiprocessing systems, and is making aggressive noises about the amount of business it hopes to win. Solbourne has already put together a disk array system tailored for Oracle Financial users – RAID capability and a native Novell Inc NetWare implementation follow next year. Solbourne hopes to ship up to 2,000 of its superscalar Series 6 boards over the coming year many to Series 5 users who can upgrade their systems. Matsushita will concentrate its Sparc efforts on developing low-end uni and multiprocessing superscalar Sparc desktop machines, an area Solbourne intends to steer well clear of. Following its retreat from direct sales in Europe in August, Solbourne is in the process of appointing European country managers who will report direct to Neil McNeill, director of international operations and a European manager who has yet to be appointed, both of whom will operate out of Longmont. Solbourne’s UK representatives include sales and marketing manager Hamish Cassels and the company is looking for more country managers including two each for Germany and France, one for Scandinavia and one for Spain. In the US, Regis McKenna Inc’s Geoffrey Moore has joined Solbourne’s board. Meanwhile, Solbourne’s Swedish distributor, CynCrona DeFacto AB, Stockholm, has nailed a worldwide internal purchasing agreement with L M Ericsson Telefon AB: the telecommunications company has been using Solbourne servers in its Swedish offices since 1990.