Unisys is rolling out new systems in its stalwart ClearPath line of mainframes to help businesses handle the growing processing demands brought on by the rise in mobile devices such as smartphones as well as the adoption of such technologies as cloud computing.
Unisys on May 10 unveiled the new ClearPath Dorado and Libra 800 Series that feature more powerful Unisys-designed chips and interconnect capabilities. They also come with enhanced operating systems that extend support to such mobile devices as smartphones powered by Google's Android OS, Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones and Apple's iPad tablet.
Such mobile device support will enable mobile users to gain greater access to data center resources, a capability first introduced last year when Unisys added iPhone and iPod support in its Release 13.0 of the ClearPath MCP operating system.
The new mainframes and enhanced operating systems are needed to handle the rising transaction, networking and storage demands brought on by mobile devices and cloud computing, according to Bill Maclean, vice president of Unisys' ClearPath portfolio management.
"Right now, disruptive trends such as growing numbers of smart devices and increased use of software-as-a-service and other cloud-based solutions are multiplying transaction loads and driving information-processing levels even higher," Maclean said in a statement. "As a result, enterprises urgently require more powerful servers. These latest ClearPath enhancements demonstrate Unisys' commitment to give clients additional computing flexibility to deal with constantly emerging requirements while building on their long-term investments in strategic applications."
Unisys is in the process of migrating its mainframes to Intel's Xeon processor platform-it has a number of systems that have moved from Unisys' own CMOS chips. However, in the meantime, the company continues to enhance its systems that are powered by CMOS processors.
With the latest rollouts, Unisys is offering six new models in the Dorado 800 Series and two in the Libra 800 Series. According to the company, the new Dorado system offers 70 better processor performance and 740 percent better I/O performance over the Dorado 280 and 380 systems.
In addition, the latest generation of Unisys' XPC-L (Extended Processing Complex Locking) clustering technology can be used with the new Dorado models as well as previous versions. With the upgraded XPC-L, enterprises can essentially tie together four systems by enabling them to simultaneously access a shared database, offering high availability for mission-critical applications and disaster recovery capabilities.
The Libra 800 Series systems come with hard partitioning, enabling enterprises to configure a mainframe as a single system or one with multiple independent environments. The new Libras offer 50 percent processor performance improvement and 59 percent better I/O performance than in earlier models.
Businesses can pay for the new ClearPath mainframes either through purchasing the performance upfront or through a metering pricing model that lets customers pay for only the power they use.
The operating systems for the mainframes-OS 2200 for the Dorados, MCP Release 13.1 for the Libra systems-offer highly integrated software stacks that Unisys officials said bring greater performance, availability and reliability to the ClearPaths. In addition, the integrated software also can run on previous or future versions of the mainframes, which helps businesses leverage investments they've already made.
In addition, Unisys has added new capabilities to the specialty engines within the ClearPath systems to address such demands as application modernization, enhanced security and SOAs (service-oriented architectures). It's through these enhancements, for example, that the ClearPath ePortal for MPC and the one for OS 2200 now offer support for the latest mobile devices, according to Unisys.
The Dorado 800 Series and the software enhancements are available immediately. The new Libra mainframes will be available in June, and the XPC-L3 in August, the company said.