IBM Focuses Technology on Unix, NT

Not to be outpaced by competing enterprise computing platforms, IBM has introduced several enhancements over the past two months that cover Unix and NT workstation, operating system and microprocessor technology, as well as high availability services.

As announced in early October, IBM plans to deliver three new workstations for RS/6000 and one for NT, according to John Holz, VP for workstation marketing and product management for IBM.

IBM’s NT workstation offering, IntelliStation Z Pro, offers Intel microprocessor technology in a desktop system. The timing of the IntelliStation Z Pro’s release was contingent upon Intel’s development of the 450 MHz Pentium II Xeon processor, with Windows NT 2D and 3D graphics performance, explains Holz. The Z Pro targets users in the areas of mechanical CAD, electrical design, digital content creation, petroleum exploration and production, and financial trading, all typically graphics-intensive applications.

The new Unix workstations are the RS/6000 43P Model 260, RS/6000 43P Model 150 and GXT3000P Graphics Accelerator. "IBM is demonstrating it is serious about its Unix workstations," Holz says, adding that the new workstations introduce 64-bit technology on the workstation side.

Base operating system capabilities included in Release 4.3.2 of AIX include eNetwork Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) Version 2.1, IPSec network security services for both IPv4 and IPv6, open GL and PHIGS APIs, and Java-readiness with 1.1.6 and IBM JIT 3.0.

The 64-bit POWER3 microprocessor is a RISC-based chip developed by IBM’s Unix workstations and servers. The Power3 microprocessor is designed for such technical applications as numeric computation, engineering analysis, reservoir modeling, computational fluid dynamics, automobile crash simulation and nuclear weapons simulation.

On the services end, IBM has also announced a portfolio of high availability services for RS/6000 servers, offered in two phases. The first is full availability assessment of a customer’s system and recommendation plan for helping ensure system availability, while the second is a high availability services package designed to be customizable to meet individual customers’ systems needs.