Sequent outlined plans on Tuesday to move from its proprietary Dynix/ptx operating system to the 64-bit Unix operating system (OS) being developed by the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) and IBM.
In October 1998, IBM and SCO announced they would merge their respective 64-bit Unix Oss to deliver a single Unix environment, codenamed Monterey, that would run on Intel?s forthcoming IA-64 processor architecture. Sequent also joined the alliance, promising to move to Monterey over time.
The partners said they would also provide common application programming interfaces (APIs) for their existing 32-bit Unix Oss to make the move to IA-64 easier.
But Sequent has now said it will ship a hybrid OS, named Unixware/ptx, by the fourth quarter of this year and will position it as a high-end Unixware implementation. Unixware/ptx is based on Dynix/ptx, but adds Unixware APIs to enable it to run Unixware binary packages unmodified.
UnixWare/ptx, like Dynix/ptx, will also offer support for the much touted non-uniform memory architecture (Numa), clustering and multipath I/O.
Doug Michels, SCO?s president and chief executive officer, was clearly delighted by Sequent?s move.
"This expands the range and scalability profile of UnixWare. Sequent focuses on the top of the market and always turns in good performance benchmarks," he said.
Elsewhere, John Pattenden, Sequent?s European product manager, explained that with Unixware/ptx: "Applications scale transparently. They don?t have to be re-engineered to take advantage of Numa."
He added that by the time Monterey ships in late 2000, it will offer all of the scalability and performance features of Dynix/ptx.
IBM will also ship versions of its DB/2 database and some AIX middleware products that run on UnixWare/ptx later this year.
But while Sequent works with SCO and IBM on 64-bit Unix, the company has also made a strategic choice to move towards Windows NT. While it currently advocates a joint Unix/NT environment, it expects to see NT move into much of the space now occupied by Unix.
"For the foreseeable future, Unix and NT both have a place in the data centre," Sequent?s Pattenden said.
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