Digital Sets New Standards for Performance, Economy in Open Client/Server Computing
Breakthrough Servers Combine Alpha AXP Power with PC Affordability
'Third Wave' of Digital's Client/Server Initiative
NOTE: All pricing is U.S. only
MAYNARD, Mass. -- April 12, 1994 --Digital Equipment Corporation today announced powerful, leading-edge servers and software that set new standards for economy, dependability, and performance in open client/server computing. The new offerings speed the transition and reduce costs for customers implementing open client/server environments.
Leading the announcement is the industry's first RISC-based, departmental server that combines high-performance symmetric multi-processing (SMP) with industry-standard PCI and EISA technology. The Digital 2100 Server Model A500MP system boasts the industry's best price/performance and warranty. CPU expandability enables the server to handle a range of functions from PC LAN superserver to mainframe downsizing. Prices start at $18,900.
Digital also introduced new technical computing capabilities that incorporate high-performance UNIX workstations and servers with industry-leading TechAdvantage software. In addition, Digital announced the AdvantageCluster for UNIX Program that provides users with high performance, high availability, scalability, and manageability features for the DEC OSF/1 environment. For customers, the clusters represent a cost-effective alternative to mainframes and supercomputers for commercial and technical applications.
In addition, the company reported that the number of its Alpha AXP applications has surpassed the 5,000 mark. Technical and commercial customers now have a broad choice of the "most wanted" applications covering all major market segments.
Major enhancements were announced for the DEC OSF/1, OpenVMS, and Windows NT operating systems. The company said its UNIX operating system continues to gain key commercial and technical computing features through SMP functionality and clustering. OpenVMS AXP now offers functional equivalence with OpenVMS VAX for business-critical applications. Microsoft's Windows NT Advanced Server software will support the Digital 2100 Server family; Digital becomes the first vendor to provide the Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) on theWindows NT platform.
Company executives will brief targeted customers--information technology executives, technical managers, and marketing partners-- at events worldwide during the next few weeks.
"Today Digital is breaking several performance and cost barriers for customers," said William D. Strecker, Digital's Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technical Officer. "By bridging the worlds of large-system features and small-system cost advantages, Digital puts the power to manage complex tasks within the reach of enterprise departments and small companies. "For example, our new Digital 2100 Server makes use of low cost structures and associated PC technology to increase its affordability for customers. The benefits to our technical users are equally profound. With our new AdvantageCluster Compute Servers, we can offer the power of a multimillion-dollar supercomputer for approximately $200,000," Strecker said.
The new offerings represent Digital's third wave in its open client/server initiative. Key to this effort are the company's integrated frameworks, consisting of software building blocks, that help customers evolve their computer operations smoothly to gain the advantages of client/server computing.
Powerful SMP Server. . . Three-Year Warranty. . . Choice of Software
The Digital 2100 Server Model A500MP system is the first SMP server to use the industry-standard PCI and EISA I/O buses to deliver the best price/performance for midrange servers. Based on the 190MHz DECchip 21064 microprocessor, the Digital 2100 Server is expandable from one to four processors at prices beginning at $18,900 for one-processor systems and $36,900 for four-processor configurations.
Also offered are prepackaged Digital 2100 Servers and software tools for technical application developers and database users, rackmountable configurations to save floor space, and packaged rackmount servers for customers who require high availability and large program and data storage.
"Our confidence in the ruggedness and reliability of this system can be measured by its unique warranty," Strecker said. "Thisworldwide, three-year, 24-hour response, on-site warranty is an industry first."
Customers can choose among DEC OSF/1, OpenVMS AXP, or Microsoft's forthcoming Windows NT Advanced Server software for the new system. The Digital 2100 Server functions as a high-availability application server for process control and point-of-sale systems, a high-capacity database server for financial and medical markets, a PC-LAN superserver, or a cost-effective alternative for mainframe downsizing.
Digital is also offering, through new joint marketing initiatives an attractively priced and optimally configured Digital 2100 Server Model A500MP system when purchased with database software from Ingres, Oracle, and Sybase, as well as Microsoft's SQL Server.
UNIX Clusters: High Performance, Availability
The new AdvantageCluster for UNIX program incorporates high performance, high availability, scalability, and manageability features of OpenVMScluster systems on the DEC OSF/1 operating system. Three packages make up the program's initial offering:
AdvantageCluster Compute Servers--complete, cabinet-mounted arrays of four to 32 DEC 3000 AXP workstations with Ethernet or high-speed GIGAswitch interconnect. Priced from $55,000, the AdvantageCluster Compute Server can equal the performance of a multimillion- dollar supercomputer for compute-intensive technical applications in design, analysis, and simulation.
AdvantageCluster File Server--delivers the industry's highest Network File Server (NFS) throughput in a single, integrated system. More than one third faster than Sun Microsystems' competing SPARCcluster 1 system at half the price. It is capable of up to 4,000 NFS operations per second and can be scaled for even higher performance. The server is ideal for technical applications requiring high NFS activity and for network applications using large data files.
AdvantageCluster Available Server--uses clustered AXP systems in a high-availability configuration for order processing, point-of-sale transaction processing, and on-line customer service in a fault-resilient, rapid-recovery environment.
High Performance Technical Computing
Digital's Technical Integration Framework is the newest of Digital's building blocks for client/server computing. It encompasses the new, high-performance AdvantageCluster Compute Servers plus a software development environment for parallel applications and new, optimized third-party applications.
Together, these products provide supercomputer performance at a fraction of supercomputer prices for complex tasks in electronic,automotive and aircraft design; molecular modeling for chemical and pharmaceutical industries; computational fluid dynamics for aerospace design and process manufacturing; and scientific research using genetic and climatic modeling.
New TechAdvantage integrated application development software enables technical developers to select the components they need to write efficient code for either single-stream or parallel processing. Individual language packages, as well as a composite TechAdvantage package, provide technical developers comprehensive technical application development tools. The packages contain innovative technical software solutions for Fortran 90, FORTRAN 77, C, and C++ for general technical development. The DEC Fortran 90 package includes the company's revolutionary new compiler, which can automatically compile code for use on parallel Alpha AXP processors. It produces parallel object code for workstation and system clusters. Digital is the first vendor to offer such a compiler.
AdvantageCluster Compute Servers can be configured with factory-installed TechAdvantage development software and POLYCENTER software for manageability and enhanced performance.
The Digital 2100 Technical Developers' System, a two-processor SMP system, provides all hardware and software required to develop technical applications in currently used languages or in the new, parallel DEC Fortran 90 language.
Digital will back its Technical Computing Framework with a worldwide network of eight High Performance Computing Expertise Centers. The centers will specialize in performance optimization, benchmarking, application integration, training services, and consulting.
Enhanced DEC OSF/1, OpenVMS Software
Digital's new hardware is accompanied by Version 3.0 of the DEC OSF/1 operating system with SMP support and other performance-enhancement features. It supports a full SMP environment without impacting non-SMP system performance. The software also features dynamic device driver loading and, standards-compliant realtime system services. DEC OSF/1 is the most open of all UNIX software platforms, with the industry's highest SPEC 1170 conformance, 98 percent of System V conformance, and full XPG4 conformance.
Version 6.1 of Digital's OpenVMS operating system offers customers functional equivalency for VAX and Alpha AXP systems and supports the new Digital 2100 Server platform. Functional parity in OpenVMS means that customers can take advantage of the same clustering, data integrity, high availability, multivendor integration, scaling, and peripheral features on RISC-based Alpha AXP systems as on CISC-based VAX systems.
Digital also announced plans to further enhance the OpenVMS operating system with an advanced log-structured file system providing breakhrough transaction processing performance and file compatibility for PCs and workstations. Other enhancements will include wide area disaster- tolerant clusters, 64-bit file and application support, low-cost SCSI clusters, cluster management from Windows-based PCs, and XPG4 branding.
Application Growth Accelerates
Digital reported 35 percent growth in the number of Alpha AXP applications since the beginning of the calendar year. The number of applications will approach 6,000 in June. Currently more than 2,300 applications each are available for DEC OSF/1 and OpenVMS operating systems, and more than 500 for Windows NT-based AXP systems.
New, Updated Systems and Software
In addition, Digital announced the following new and updated systems and network software for workgroups and departments:
VAX 4000 Model 105A and MicroVAX 3100 Model 95, new systems featuring 33 percent higher performance than preceding models, with no increase in price. Special upgrade prices for current MicroVAX and VAX users are available.
InfoBroker, a new, client/server information management product for Alpha AXP systems under DEC OSF/1 that enables network administrators and users to store, control, and access data about network users, documents, resources, and applications.
PATHWORKS Software Development Kit, for easy writing of object-oriented, client/server network applications for Windows, Windows NT,OpenVMS, and DEC OSF/1 systems. It includes application programming interfaces (APIs) for PATHWORKS and ManageWORKS products, plus development tools for ObjectBroker, DECmessageQ, and OSF DCE (Distributed Computing Environment) software.
DECmessageQ Version 3.0, Digital's client/server messaging solution for peer-to-peer distributed systems, now available on 13 platforms running UNIX, OpenVMS, Windows NT software for servers, and Windows for PC clients. Recoverable queues guarantee message delivery.
Digital Distributed Computing Environment (DCE), integrated services for distributed application development and deployment on a multivendor network. The first DCE product for Windows NT platforms, it runs on AXP and Intel-based systems, and joins DCE implementations already shipping on UNIX and OpenVMS systems. OpenVMS DCE support also is being extended to all servers.
DEC/EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Version 2.0 software for Alpha AXP systems using OpenVMS, with up to five times the performance of earlier versions and a new Windows graphical user interface, new OSF/1 AXP clients, an integrated FileBridge mapper and HostBridge Server option for IBM mainframe application integration.
Tuxedo V2.1, a new release of the popular UNIX-based TP monitor, on Alpha AXP systems running DEC OSF/1 software.
LeaseWorks, a new suite of systems acquisition and financing programs for customers who want flexibility and investment protection in adding systems, updating technology, and migrating to Alpha AXP platforms.
Digital Equipment Corporation is the world's leader in open client/server solutions from personal computing to integrated worldwide information systems. Digital's scalable Alpha AXP platforms, storage, networking, software and services, together with industry-focused solutions from business partners, help organizations compete and win in today's global marketplace.
AdvantageCluster, AXP, DEC, DECchip, DEC/EDI, DECmessageQ, Digital, the Digital logo, GIGAswitch, InfoBroker, LeaseWorks, ManageWORKS, MicroVAX, ObjectBroker, OpenVMS, PATHWORKS, POLYCENTER, TechAdvantage, and VAX are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.
OSF is a registered trademark of Open Software Foundation, Inc.
Microsoft is a registered trademark, NT and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Novell, Inc.
OS/2 is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
cc:Mail is a registered trademark of cc:Mail, Inc.
Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation