Intel's Pentium Pro hardware is being twisted into many shapes at PC Expo this week, showing up in everything from server clusters to Webservers.
On the high end, IBM stands out with its server clustering strategy, while AST Research is revealing a Web server.
"The Intel architecture is now going to be extended even higher into the enterprise," says Jerry Sheridan, an analyst with Dataquest, a San Jose, California-based consultancy.
IBM makes its entry into the PC server clustering market by offering Vinca's StandbyServer failover software as an option with its servers, including the Pentium Pro-based 704. The software runs on Windows NT, NetWare and OS/2 and will come with an IBM 100Mbit/s Ethernet card for server-to-server connectivity.
IBM officials say the StandbyServer option could be only one of many the company is designing to satisfy customers' thirst to cluster computers.
The StandbyServer option will be available for the 320, 520 and 720 server lines by September. Testing for the Pentium Pro-based 704 is not yet complete, according to Vinca officials.
The product is priced at US$3875.
Long-silent AST is also making noise at the show with its Manhattan S6200 server, available with one or two 200-MHz Pentium Pro processors.
In addition, the company is announcing a Web server bundle, called the Commerce Pro, that is based on the new servers.
AST is basing Commerce Pro on The Internet Factory's Merchant Builder Web server, SoftQuad's HotMetal Light Web page-creation and publishing software, and Software.com's Post Office messaging software. By doing so, the company is not following the lead of the PC server giants, most of which are packaging Microsoft and Netscape Communications Web software with their servers.
AST is attempting to recover from a series of poor financial quarters that led to a management shake-up. Ian Diery, formerly with Apple, has taken the reins as chief executive and is promising to bring products to market ahead of competitors.
The S6200 starts at US$7500; Commerce Pro starts at US$8650.
Separately, Data General and The Santa Cruz Operation have announced an agreement to develop a version of SCO UnixWare that will run on Data General multiprocessor servers based on the company's nonuniform memory architecture (NUMA).
Data General will continue to provide its own brand of Unix, DG-UX, to customers. NUMA-based systems running DG-UX will be available by the end of the year.
NUMA servers running UnixWare are due in the first half of 1997.