IBM overhauls AS/400 servers

IBM is preparing to unveil "book end" servers to its AS/400e Model 170 line, a new version of OS/400 with a built-in set of clustering APIs, and another series that consolidates the overall line into fewer families.

IBM is preparing to unveil “book end” servers to its AS/400e Model 170 line, a new version of OS/400 with a built-in set of clustering APIs, and another series that consolidates the overall line into fewer families.

The lower end bookend server — part of the model 170 line — will be positioned to compete directly against Compaq’s Windows NT-based ProLiant 800 line of servers.

“We are sitting right on top of Compaq. We intend to compete very aggressively against them,” says Debra Thompson, vice-president of the AS/400 enterprise servers at IBM.

Thompson say she is confident the new systems can throw a few stones in the path of the fast-moving Windows NT-based servers, not just with price and performance, but with their built-in capability to host and manage NT applications via an optional 333MHz Pentium II-based board.

IBM will also take the wraps off a new version of the operating system. It will feature built-in clustering APIs and logical partitioning borrowed from IBM’s S/390, which allow a single AS/400e with multiple processors to assume the functions of as many as 12 separate servers.

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