Unisys Delivers 106-CPU Server

Unisys Corp. is bucking the trend of filling the data center with multiple small servers.

Bucking the trend of filling the data center with multiple small servers, Unisys Corp. this week will launch a Wintel server that can scale up to 106 processors and run an enterprises entire business from a single box.

The Blue Bell, Pa., companys ES7000/560 server solves the problem of technology "sprawl" that is proliferating in enterprise data centers, Unisys officials said. It is designed to run front-end Web servers, 32-bit midtier enterprise applications and 64-bit high-end database workloads simultaneously, thus enabling businesses to consolidate the work of multiple servers of different sizes into a single box, the officials said.

The ES7000/560, available now, can run a variety of Intel Corp. processors, including up to 32 32-bit Xeon MPs and 32 64-bit Itanium 2 chips. The server contains one 32-way Xeon MP partition and two 16-way Itanium 2 partitions.

In addition, the system offers as many as 96 PCI slots, up to 42 of which will be able to host a PCI blade—each with its own 700MHz Pentium III processor, memory and networking capabilities. These blades will be able to run an enterprises front-end workload, such as Web serving and firewall applications.

The entire system is managed by Unisys new Server Sentinel 2.0 software, which enables users to manage the system remotely and monitors activity among the various server partitions and the PCI blades.

"Server and infrastructure sprawl is a pervasive enterprise computing problem," said Roger Jones, senior vice president and CIO for Fortis Inc.s Fortis Health unit and an ES7000 user. "Any drawbacks to the all-in-one box far outweigh the operational and cost benefits you get from consolidation. Of course, the more eggs you put in one basket, the more you have to make sure you are watching the basket."

The Unisys systems, with their built-in redundancies and Server Sentinel management software, take care of most of those concerns, said Jones, in Milwaukee.

Unisys will release the system at Microsoft Corp.s launch this week of its Windows Server 2003 operating system. A version running Microsofts Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition will be available in June.