Compaq says it will wait for 64-bit Windows NT before rolling out its clustered solutions, despite the challenge from proprietary multiprocessing servers. It will also wait for Intel's Merced processor, now delayed until 1999, rather than using alternative chips such as Digital Alpha.
Although rivals Data General and Unisys will shortly offer new symmetric multiprocessing, Intel-based servers, Compaq will wait for 64-bit NT before rolling out its clustered solutions using six, eight and 12 Pentium Pro chips.
Mike Perez, vice president of Compaq?s server product division, said that his company was pursuing an x.86 only strategy for chips and would not use Alpha chips in its servers. ?We?ll go with Intel all the way and launch Klamath, Deschutes and Merced when its ready,? he said.
Perez said that Compaq was unconcerned that Hewlett-Packard is in bed with Intel on development of the delayed Merced processor. ?There?s a lot of sleeping going on with lots of people,? he said. ?We recognise that HP was smart in doing what they did but we want a level playing field with Intel.?
HP will have difficulties moving from its current family of servers to Merced anyway, claimed Perez. ?HP has a bigger bag of bones to transition. They have to carry their users over. They have a whole lot of work to do and I?m starting clean. Once we compete with them on Merced it will become a cat and dog situation.?
Despite the fact that the first version of Wolfpack, the clustering technology, due out later this year, will only have fail-over capabilities, Compaq will implement it, he said. ?Our customers would buy it now if they had it,? he said. ?Ninety per cent of people are interested in it."
Six-way, eight-way and 12-way machines introduced by Data General and Unisys over the next few weeks will not make an impact on the market, Perez said. ?We don?t think our customers want proprietary clustering systems.? Companies that sold proprietary clustering systems were just acting as a "placemark", he said.
Perez said the server group accounted for $4 billion turnover at Compaq worldwide and that product categories including storage and network products were becoming increasingly important. ?We?re third behind IBM and EMC in revenues in storage,? he said. ?We?re extending our storage business and there?s no reason we can?t extend into that area.?
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