Compaq?s Digital unit has delayed version 5.0 of Digital Unix by six months because it wants to avoid introducing a major operating system upgrade while users? Year 2000 work is at a peak.
Compaq executives told attendees at the Decus user group conference in Los Angeles this week that version 5.0 would not be released by the end of this year as promised. Instead, Digital will now ship two minor releases before the third quarter of 1999, when version 5.0 is scheduled to finally appear.
"We want to keep a stable version out there during the Year 2000 gate. Customers and partners were saying not to introduce a dot zero release at this time," said Donald Jenkins, Compaq?s product manager for Digital Unix.
He added that version 5.0 was intended to include OpenVMS? Truclustering technology, but this work had fallen behind schedule.
Tony Ioele, chairman of Decus US, said the delay would not impact users badly.
"It's a smart move. It will be ready to fly then, once it hits the market, rather than keeping to schedule and not being a quality product. The release will be coordinated with new Alpha servers and the NT integration this way," he said.
Compaq will ship release 4.0e shortly and include support for the new EV6 Alpha processor, gigabit Ethernet, the Euro and Microsoft's DCOM object model. Early next year, version 4.0f will enable users to undertake hardware partitioning and support fibre channel and RAID for storage sub systems.
Version 5.0 will finally emerge in June of next year, although Jenkins expects many users to wait until after 2000 to migrate. The upgrade will include single image clustering technology and be able to handle 56Gbytes of system memory and more than 20Tbytes of storage. Compaq is also rewriting various management tools in Java to create a single integrated event manager.
Into the future, Jenkins revealed version 5.1, which is due to ship during 2000, will be the first iteration of the operating system to run on Intel's IA64 Merced processor.
It will also support a variant of the Non Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA) being developed in conjunction with Sequent, and Compaq claims the offering will break the six processor barrier of existing symmetric multiprocessing systems.
Alpha servers running 32 and 64 processors will be released at the same time as version 5.1.
The hardware supplier also said it would boost its investment in the Linux open source operating system running on its Alpha platform and would provide an upgrade path from Linux to Digital Unix.
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