Fujitsu claims to be the first to market with an eight-way server built around an array of Intel's Pentium II Xeon processors, but to reach this level of processing power customers must first purchase the M820i server in the four-way configuration, including the 400MHz Xeon processors, 152Kb cache and 256Mb ECC EDO memory, and the eight-way upgrade.
Fujitsu is using the 1.6Gbps Synfinity Interconnect Architecture, developed by Fujitsu System Technologies, to link commodity processors, memory and I/O components which it claims will deliver a flexible, resilient and cost effective eight-way system.
Mark Raphael, programme director with the Meta Group, said that proprietary components would scare off customers. "Most users are nervous about proprietary interconnect technology that could be history before it gets out the door.
People are waiting for Intel's Corollary interconnection technology, and, if you look at manufacturers such as Compaq, HP and IBM, the main players are sticking with the four-way for the time being. Fujitsu is looking for a technology advantage with this move but it doesn't understand that it's not power that will make it successful - it is how the technology is delivered," Raphael said.
There is little demand in the market for eight-way servers, Raphael continued.
"Fujitsu will have limited success with this server. It's clear from end users that demand for an eight-way Xeon is restricted by other factors.
If NT 5.0 was here, then all well and good. If SQL was scalable, then fine and dandy - but these things are not here and four-way is the limit of implementations."
Paul Stow, vice president for server products with Fujitsu, said that users wanted new technology as early as possible and promised that the Synfinity architecture would deliver greater power when Intel's 64-bit Merced processor arrives. "We are developing this technology all the time and this is the first implementation of it."
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