Novell has revealed that eight IT companies, including Intel and Oracle, have been helping it secretly develop its planned clustering technology, codenamed Wolf Mountain, to rival Microsoft's Wolfpack.
The list of partners backing Novell is a blow for Microsoft, particularly as Intel and Oracle have thrown their considerable weight behind the project. Although some details of Wolf Mountain have leaked out before, it was not seen as a widely supported initiative. Dolphin, G2 Networks, Tandem and Unisys are also involved, along with input from Cheyenne on back-up technology and hardware advice from Compaq.
Demonstrating the technology for the first time, Novell promised Wolf Mountain will run clustered networks of multiprocessing servers that offer high availabilty, can be expanded to rival mainframe processing power, and balance the load on each CPU for efficient performance. The partner companies have advised and helped Novell with the development and refinement of Wolf Mountain in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, including Merced support.
Novell's senior vice president Vic Langford said Wolf Mountain will be available in mid-1998. "We will roll the technologies into Intranetware and it can run alongside it now." He showed the features of 32-bit Wolf Mountain software on 12- way and four-way Pentium Pro-based servers.
Justin Rattner, the Intel Fellow and director of the chip giant's server architecture lab, said Intel will release initiatives around its Vi clustering standard next week, following its input into Wolf Mountain. "Novell should be applauded for building this from the ground up. It's available, scalable, it is 32 and 64-bit ready, it supports standards including Vi and it offers powerful 3D file structure. Mainframe manufacturers beware."
Larry Robinson, who was appointed Novell's products division director at Oracle this week, said his company has had a strong input into the project. "Our Parallel Server product is deployed in Wolf Mountain and it works transparently," he boasted.
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