When Compaq Computer unveils eight-way Pentium III Xeon servers today in New York, it won't just be leapfrogging ahead of the server pack. The servers are planned to be a centerpiece to a new business strategy.
Enrico Pesatori, Compaq's new senior vice president of the newly formed Enterprise Solutions and Services Group, will outline a road map for Compaq's own technologies as well as those it acquired from Digital Equipment and Tandem Computers.
The strategy will include setting up a business-critical server group focused on delivering highly available systems based on Tandem technology.
The group will be headed by Bill Heil, vice president of Compaq's Tandem division, according to Terry Shannon, editor of "Shannon Knows Compaq," a newsletter in Ashland, Massachusetts.
The new eight-way servers are expected to form the basis of future Integrity XC clusters from the company. Integrity XC is a packaged, two- to six-node system comprised of Compaq's ProLiant servers, The Santa Cruz Operation Inc.'s UnixWare operating system and Tandem's NonStop Clusters software. The technology -- which Compaq has targeted mainly at telecommunications companies -- allows users to tie multiple ProLiant systems in a high-availability cluster.
With the release of the new servers, Compaq is expected to make the technology available to Internet providers and application hosting services.
Cheryl Currid, president of research firm Currid & Co. in Houston, said Compaq is finally ready to put the technology pieces of Digital and Tandem into play. "Digital bought a service organization that really knows how to keep (systems running) 24/7. They can fix a lot of short-term problems with scalability" for customers, she said.
An analyst who was briefed on the announcement said nonstop electronic business would be a logical choice for Houston-based Compaq and its high-availability experience. "The service provider has to have a low probability of in-service failure," and Compaq can deliver that, he said.
Dell Computer and IBM will make their eight-way server announcements in late August, after Intel officially releases its long-awaited Profusion chip set.
(Computerworld senior editor Sharon Gaudin contributed to this story.)