A Roadmap for UNIX

If you rely on your systems to run your business, you need a platform that's reliable. That's why, for many companies, UNIX - with its superior scalability, reliability and manageability - has been the best choice for running strategic, mission-critical systems.

But in today's networked marketplace, you need more. You need a system that lets you bring together every aspect of your enterprise to create a big picture -- an integrated, interoperable approach that connects all your systems and your data. And you need a system that supports growth, that allows you to quickly and easily adapt technology to help you maintain or create a competitive edge.

"We're extending into broader markets with our award-winning AIX software that delivers the reliability and security required of an enterprise-class operating system."
Bob Stephenson, senior vice president, IBM Server Group

Unfortunately, the fragmented UNIX market hasn't made that easy. It has meant dealing with multiple UNIX "flavors," frequently tied to proprietary hardware and with few common management tools. That's often left you with the choice of dealing with the complexity -- and cost -- of implementing and managing systems from multiple vendors or of being locked in to a single hardware provider. And even then, you were sometimes faced with difficult transitions as new generations of hardware were introduced.

That's changing.

Recognizing that open computing is the engine of today's economy, IBM (http://www.ibm.com/servers/monterey) has announced a major UNIX operating system initiative. In support of the initiative, IBM has forged alliances with SCO (http://www.sco.com/monterey) and Sequent (http://www.sequent.com/products/software/operatingsys/monterey.html), as well as gained the backing of Intel and a number of leading hardware and software organizations around the world.

Initially, the alliance will develop an enterprise-class UNIX -- based on SCO UnixWare with enhancements from IBM's award-winning AIX -- for systems built around today's 32-bit Intel processors. That will be followed by a UNIX developed for Intel's forthcoming 64-bit (http://developer.intel.com/design/processor/future/ia64.htm) architecture as well as continuing enhancements to AIX. The result will be a single UNIX product line that runs on IA-32, IA-64 and IBM microprocessors, in computers ranging from entry-level desktops to large enterprise servers.

"Intel strongly supports this software initiative, and will work with IBM and SCO to make this the first UNIX port for all computer manufacturers and software developers."
John Miner, vice president and general manager, Intel enterprise server group

Uniquely qualified

IBM, SCO and Sequent are uniquely qualified to provide the foundation for this important effort. IBM is building on more than 10 years of technology investments in its award-winning AIX operating system to provide an enterprise-class UNIX-on-Intel environment. AIX, the only UNIX that leverages IBM's decades of experience building the systems that run businesses worldwide, delivers:

"IBM's AIX enterprise technology when combined with UnixWare's technology and SCO's market share leadership will create the high-volume platform for Intel-based servers. With Intel's support, this platform will become the leading UNIX operating system for Intel-architecture based servers."
Dr. John E. Kelly III, vice president, server development, IBM

In addition to contributing UnixWare as the base for the new UNIX for IA-32, SCO will contribute the skills and competencies it has developed in becoming the clear leader in providing UNIX for today's Intel-based systems. Together, IBM and SCO will combine these strengths into a "shrink-wrapped " 32-bit UNIX supported by IBM applications, middleware and tools. This means you get quick access to the optimized reliability, availability and scalability of AIX combined with the high-volume economics of the Intel platform.

"Customers can now deploy major applications on both 32-bit and 64-bit technology, with the volume economics of a reliable, scalable UNIX-on-Intel. We see this collaboration with IBM -- the company that invented enterprise computing -- and Intel, as a major benefit for our customers, OEM partners, and ISVs."
Doug Michels, CEO, SCO

Joining IBM and SCO is Sequent, the leading provider of high-end Intel-based UNIX systems. Sequent will help ensure that AIX technology and Intel architecture are exploited to the fullest in building large enterprise-class servers by contributing its cc:NUMA technology. It will also help IBM to accelerate scalability improvements for AIX.

"Sequent is committed to delivering our customers the industry's leading UNIX for IA-64 with the introduction of Merced-based systems. The AIX partnership provides the clear choice, combining proven technology, tremendous resources and unprecedented industry support."
Casey Powell, chairman and CEO, Sequent

Intel on board

This approach has won the endorsement of Intel, which has announced that it will work with IBM, SCO and Sequent to ensure that this operating system becomes the leading UNIX for all computer manufacturers and software developers. To that end, Intel is providing substantial technical and marketing support. In addition, IBM and Intel are creating a multi-million dollar fund that will help software companies deliver middleware tools and application programs.

"We are excited about the opportunity this collaborative effort on UNIX brings to Informix customers."
Diane Fraiman, vice president of marketing, Informix

A number of computer system manufacturers and leading software companies -- including Acer, Groupe Bull, Unisys, Informix, Netscape, Novell and PeopleSoft -- quickly added their support for the initiative. Even broader industry support is expected.

"The combined initiative of UNIX leaders like SCO and IBM, with the support of Intel, is a positive development for both developers and end users who are looking forward to the performance advantages of 64-bit architectures."
Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Novell

Looking ahead

But delivering these products is only a first step. The true goal is to simplify the process of implementing and managing UNIX-based solutions and to provide investment protection and growth for companies moving from IA-32 to IA-64 or seeking to combine RISC-based and Intel-based servers in a seamless environment.

IBM has already delivered upward compatibility with AIX Version 4.3. AIX 4.3 provides a superior solution for customers who want to move to faster, 64-bit applications without abandoning their existing 32-bit applications, running the new applications and providing improved performance for older applications as well. Even better, AIX 4.3 runs on all IBM RS/6000 models, from entry-level workstations to the largest SP clusters.

"Enterprise customers have been asking for an industry-standard version of UNIX. Customers want IBM to take a leadership role. This new initiative is a big step in that direction and Netfinity plans to fully support this new industry standard UNIX."
Bill Colton, general manager, IBM Netfinity

In the same way, today's AIX applications will run on IA-64 UNIX after a recompile, and 32-bit UNIX applications can be re-compiled for native execution on IA-64 or AIX running on IBM's microprocessors with minimal porting changes. Eventually, you'll be able to maintain a single program source code that can be re-compiled for execution across all three architectures. And you can be assured that when the first IA-64 processor, code named Merced, is introduced, a full range of enterprise-ready applications will also be available. Finally, because IBM will provide common administrative, management and performance tools, customers developing a mixed environment with RISC-based and Intel-based servers will find that transition simplified. It's a roadmap that offers a high level of protection for your current computing investments.

The future of UNIX

The UNIX marketplace today has a vertical focus, as most vendors have tied their "flavor" of UNIX to a particular hardware platform. The alliance members hope to provide the impetus for creating a more "horizontal" market, where vendors will compete by innovating from a common base.

Acer is impressed by the commitment of SCO, IBM and Intel to make UnixWare 7 the leading UNIX contender in IA-32 environments. And providing a common OS platform for Intel's forthcoming IA-64 processor energizes the industry."
Max Wu, president and COO, Acer America

A flexible future

What do these efforts mean to you? In a single word, flexibility.

The fact is that no one server does every job well. But now you will be able to choose an operating system that scales from today's 32-bit Intel-based systems to tomorrow's most powerful 64-bit Intel- and RISC-based servers. You'll be able to select an Intel-based server and then determine which operating system is the best match for your unique business requirements. And IBM will continue to provide world-class applications, middleware and services for each.

"The customers we've spoken to are excited by this offering and what we had to say."
Rajiv Samant, general manager, AIX, IBM Server Group

You will have the availability and scalability you need to grow your business... the performance you require for the heavy workload demands of e-business... plus true interoperability along a seamless, future-safe migration path.

UNIX is a trademark of The Open Group
All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.

Copyright 1999