Unisys launches enterprise computing platform Forward

Initially, the Forward platform will use Xeon E5 processors but Unisys intends to base future models on Xeon E7 processor

Unisys has announced a new enterprise computing platform called Forward that combines secure partitioning,Intel Xeon processors and virtualisation technologies. It claims that Forward can help reduce the cost of enterprise computing by up to 40 per cent.

Available for delivery early in December, Forward is described as a breakthrough fabric-based architecture. ideal for organisations that are looking to migrate to open Linux and Windows operating environments from proprietary Unix.

“The performance is astounding,” says Forward and ClearPath programme manager Vic Herring. “It’s the most exciting thing I’ve been involved with since the early 1970s.”

He says that virtualisation has helped to keep costs significantly lower since it was introduced in 2006. “And the move to Linux to get the price right has increasing momentum. The biggest cost of any IT system is running it.”

Forward is an extensible platform with high levels of security, he says.

“The secure fabric has allowed us to build computing resources on s-Par (Unisys’ secure partitioning technology) that allows virtualisation of Intel. There’s no sharing of components, which is so important for security. If one piece fails, nothing else is affected.

“We’ve been running our mainframes on this technology for five years. We went back to basics and built on an open framework.”

He says there is very high-speed connection between servers, which is done in software-driven architecture. “It changes the way of thinking about architecture.”

Within the Forward fabric platform, each secure partition constitutes a containerised server for execution of a specific workload, with its own dedicated processing, memory and I/O channels. Communications among the partitions are at memory speed.

Forward can be integrated with Unisys’ Stealth cybersecurity solution, which allows only authorised users to see and access cloaked resources.

Initially, the Forward platform will use Xeon E5 processors but Unisys intends to base future models on Xeon E7 processors.

Basic configurations for Forward are priced from US$89,000.

Unisys has also unveiled a Stealth solution for mobile, which cryptographically protects data all the way to the application. The company describes the solution as a much more secure approach for BYOD (bring your own device) environments.

Users can define specific security policies on a per-mobile application basis. Stealth then adds a layer of identity-based security which allows users access to only the assets within the data centre they are entitled to access and see.

One licence can be used across multiple mobile devices.

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