Unisys Continues Its Intel Revamp

The company is continuing to roll out new architecture based on dual- and now quad-core Intel processors in an effort to unite the new systems and its legacy mainframe platforms.

Unisys is continuing to revamp its server architecture in an ongoing effort to unite its legacy mainframe platforms with newer Intel-based servers on the same systems.

To continue its revamp, Unisys unveiled three new systems May 15 based on Intel processors. The ClearPath Dorado 420 and 430 are based on Intels dual-core Xeon processors, while the Libra 400 is the first to use a quad-core Xeon processor.

These three new systems will support Unisys own hypervisor virtualization technology, which will allow multiple operating systems on one physical machine. In addition to the companys own OS2200 and MCP mainframe operating systems, the servers will support Microsoft Windows as well as Red Hat and Novells SUSE Linux.

Unlike the companys older servers, the new architecture will allow the systems to share workloads dynamically among the different environments.

In addition, the new releases of Unisys OS2200 and MCP mainframe software enable customers to use SOA (service-oriented architecture) to create environments that allow interoperability between legacy applications and newer applications, said Rod Sapp, director of marketing for ClearPath Systems and Solutions.

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The news systems are meant to save money by allowing customers to consolidate older applications on a new and more flexible and dynamic computing infrastructure. At the same time, Unisys, which is based in Blue Bell, Pa., will continue to support its legacy mainframe ClearPath systems that use the companys own CMOS chips.

"The SOA enables legacy operations and plug into and leverage a much more contemporary ecosystem," Sapp said.

The three systems also are part of the Unisys scale-up philosophy, which allows customers to put more workloads on fewer, large systems rather than have them scale out with more, smaller servers.

Unisys has been working toward the realization of a common platform for nearly a year. In May 2006, the company released the ES7000/One, a system that can run both Intels Xeon and Itanium processors.

On June 27, 2006, the company announced that it was working with NEC and Intel to develop the new architecture that resulted in May 15s announcement of the three new systems.

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The Libra 400 is a dual-socket system that will use the quad-core Xeon X5355 processor, which has a clock speed of 2.66GHz. The company said the new system will offer double the processing capacity of the older 300 model.

While the average price of the Libra 400 is $200,000, Sapp said that certain configurations will allow users to purchase one of these systems for as low as $32,000, which includes the companys mainframe software. This system will start shipping to customers May 15.

The Dorado 420 and 430 models are single-socket systems that are based on a dual-core Intel 7140M processor with a clock speed of 3.4GHz. The base price for these two systems, including the software, is $200,000 each.

The Dorado 420 and 430 servers are available only as a beta to certain customers now, said Sapp. The two systems will be generally available in October.

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