Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Unisys confirms shift to Intel

Xeons to displace CMOS mainframes.

Article comments

Unisys has confirmed it will phase out the CMOS processors in its ClearPath mainframes and enable its MCP and OS 2200 operating systems to run on Intel-based hardware.

The company first broached the possibility of abandoning traditional mainframe CMOS technology last autumn, after agreeing to collaborate with NEC on the development of high-end servers built around Intel's Xeon processors. The company will move gingerly on a transition which is a major change for users.

Unisys' first Xeon-based ClearPath hardware is due in late 2007, and will run Linux and Windows, as well as the MCP and OS 2200 operating systems. But the vendor isn't setting an end-of-life date for the internally developed CMOS processors or ruling out future upgrades.

"We continue to reserve our options," said Colin Lacey, vice president and general manager of the company's enterprise server business unit.

Lacey added, though, that the expected performance growth of Intel's multicore Xeon chips leaves "no specific reason to carry forward on a unique processor" design.

"This is a drastic change for the 2200 and MCP customers," said Greg Schweizer, a systems administrator and ClearPath user at Oregonian Publishing. "But knowing the quality control that Unisys has always had in testing, I wouldn't expect them to release [the Intel-based hardware] until they are confident that it is bug-free."

Kevin Kelly, who does software support on systems running OS 2200 at the Virginia Information Technologies Agency in Richmond, said he has questions about the reliability, cost and processing power of the upcoming Intel-based machines. "I don't know what it means in terms of performance," Kelly said.

But Marian Ritland, development and operations manager at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, said she supports the Unisys plan. The school runs its core academic applications on a ClearPath system with MCP. Unisys' adoption of Xeon gives Ritland "good, solid reasons why continuing with [the MCP] environment makes business sense," she said. "It makes it a little easier to convince upper management that Unisys is a viable long-term strategy and not something to be migrated off of."

Ritland, who also is chairwoman of the Unite user group in St. Clair Shores, Minnesota., said that many MCP users run custom-built applications and don't want to leave that operating system behind because of its reliability and security. She added that the move to Intel CPUs will make it easier for Windows and MCP applications to work together in shared environments, which Ritland sees as a plus.

Unisys, which already uses Intel processors on some of its low-end and midrange ClearPath systems that run MCP, will continue to develop the two mainframe operating systems. Firmware will sit between the Xeon processors and the operating systems, allowing users to run their applications on the Intel-based hardware without any alterations, according to Lacey.

He said that users will be able to easily move their applications to the new hardware. "This is a plug-and-play solution, from a customer perspective," Lacey said



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *