Unisys Rolls Out Modern Mainframe

New mainframes will feature capacity on demand, support for Web services and rapid application development tools.

Unisys Corp. on Monday will roll out a new line of mainframes that incorporate such features as capacity on demand, support for Web services and rapid application development tools.

The new line of servers—representing what Steve Goldner, director of marketing for Unisys ClearPath line, calls "the modern mainframe"—comes a week after IBM rolled out its newest mainframe, the z990, code-named T Rex.

The Dorado line of the ClearPath family will include the Dorado 110, which will support up to two OS 2200 processors and up to eight Xeon MP chips from Intel Corp. The 140, which will replace Unisys CS7402 midrange mainframe, will scale from eight to 16 OS 2200 chips and support up to 24 Xeons. The 180, replacing the CS7802, will scale to 32 OS 2200 chips and 24 Xeons.

According to Goldner, what is key about the new systems—which will be available next week, with a starting price for the 110 at $100,000—are the capacity on demand and other features.

"They allow customers to really move modern-day implementation of computing environments" onto mainframes, he said. "A lot of people think theyre in a legacy environment, and we say, No, youre not."

Capacity on demand enables users to crank up or tone down processing power as needed, and pay only for what they use. The Blue Bell, Pa., companys high-end system also comes with the ability to shift performance across partitions and processors on the fly, Goldner said. For example, to optimize batch processing, fewer processors can be run at a higher speed. Meanwhile, more processors can be run at a lower speed to optimize real-time or transaction processing.

Other business continuance capabilities include business impact analysis, and recovery plan audit and development.

The systems run OS 2200, Windows, Linux and Unix operating systems.

IBMs z990, which was launched on Tuesday, also comes with a number of on-demand features, including the Armonk, N.Y., companys On/Off Capacity on Demand feature and its Intelligent Resource Director, a load balancing capability that dynamically shifts jobs according to priorities set by the user. There also is Web services support via WebSphere V5 or z/OS environments.

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