Most of the excitement in the Intel community this year is likely to surround eight-way Xeon servers.
The majority of server manufacturers, including Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Dell have opted to wait patiently for Intel to ready its Profusion chip set, purchased from Corollary.
However, some vendors, like Siemens and Fujitsu, have continued with their own technology.
Intel had hoped to get the chip set, code-named Sabre, out in the first quarter of 1999, but has since pushed back the date to the second quarter.
Siemens, on the other hand, suggests that the Sabre technology will not be ready so soon.
Dr Joseph Reger, director of enterprise computing marketing at Siemens claims that the German vendor has a "window of opportunity" between bringing its eight-way technology, which it has not named to avoid being branded as proprietary, to the market before the Intel machines.
He claimed that Siemens would be the first to market. "We will have our first customer site in the spring time," he added. Siemens will probably shift to the Intel chip set at a future date because it is likely to become the standard.
Fujitsu hopes to bring its eight-way Xeon based on its own architecture to the market by May.
"I don't think there will be a window of opportunity for us because Intel will be there soon after," said Paul Stow, vice president for servers at Fujitsu. He believes that Fujitsu will profit instead from superior technology. Even so, however, he does not expect to make "shed-loads" of money from eight-ways, particularly until the launch of Windows 2000 later in the year, which would overcome the scalability problems of NT4.
Peter Slavid, business strategy manager at ICL, pointed out that without improvements in the rest of the server like the memory, disk subsystem and the I/O, companies would gain little or no performance advantage by doubling the number of Xeon processors.
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