Compaq officials promised users that Tru64 Unix on Alpha is alive and kicking, despite killing off a version of the operating system for Intel's Merced chip in September.
Attendees at the Decus US conference in San Diego this week were told that Alpha Tru64 Unix will continue to be aimed at organisations wanting systems that are highly available, scalable, and offer high performance.
Compaq is also working on running Tandem's Himalaya Non Stop kernel together with Tru64 Unix to bring fault tolerance to Alpha.
Although the two operating systems will not be merged, the EV7 variant of the Alpha processor will be given the synchronisation capabilities required to add fault tolerant facilities to Alpha systems, explained Donald Jenkins, vice president of marketing for Compaq's Unix systems business unit.
According to Jenkins Tru64 Unix will be number one or two in five targeted markets: telecoms, enterprise, business intelligence, ecommerce and the Internet. Key technical areas of focus include scalability, fault tolerance, Internet performance and integration with Microsoft NT.
On the issue of fault tolerance Jenkins explained that Compaq will also bump up reliability by achieving 99.999 per cent availability by 2001 and eventually 99.9999 per cent uptime by 2003. This will be achieved by incorporating Digital Equipment's clustering technology with Tandem's Himalaya platform.
Said Jenkins: "Our goal is to slash management costs by up to 80 per cent and reduce storage costs by 90 per cent. We know we contribute to downtime by making systems complex to manage."
Compaq was at pains to assure users that there is definitely a future for Tru64 Unix on Alpha despite the company canning plans to port the operating system onto Intel's Merced family. The decision was made to boost investments in making Alpha a stronger competitor and enable Compaq to push Linux on Alpha.
It will put Alpha Tru64 Unix compilers to Alpha Linux so that it will achieve the same performance as Alpha Tru64 Unix. This will enable users to mix and match Linux and Tru64 Unix on Alpha.
Despite the company reaffirming its commitment to Tru64 Unix, Compaq is also supporting Monterey, the Intel based Unix variant championed by SCO, Sequent and IBM that could overlap with Alpha Tru64 Unix as Intel processors become more powerful.
Jenkins claimed that this would be unlikely to happen because Compaq would aim Monterey at small and medium sized businesses and replicated sites. "We will not modify and shrinkwrap Tru64 for that market," said Jenkins.
And although it is adding fault tolerant features to Tru64 Unix, Tandem's Himalaya will remain Comaq's high availability line with a price tag to match. "Tru64 will compete as a commercial Unix system without jeopardising the price point," added Jenkins.
Earlier this year Jenkins confirmed Compaq would port Windows 2000 to Alpha and would port Tru64 Unix to Intel's IA-64, shortly before the company admitted that both projects were to be canned.
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