IBM Active PCI Becomes Standard in Reliance, HP & Dell

Dell Computer, Hewlett Packard and Reliance have licensed IBM's "Active PCI" technology, software that allows users to add certain components to Windows-based servers while the machines remain running.

Active PCI has been available on IBM's Netfinity line of servers for more than a year. It was developed as part of the company's "OnForever" initiative to reduce server downtime in Intel processor-based machines. According to the Standish Group, server downtime can cost an average of $10,000 per minute for mission-critical applications.

The technology allows a server to be expanded or upgraded in real-time, avoiding inconvenient system outages where a server may be inaccessible to its users. Components that utilize PCI adapter slots, such as RAID adapters or network cards, can take advantage of the Active PCI technology. The Active PCI technology is designed to work with Windows NT and Windows 2000.

"HP's support of the Active PCI technology continues our commitment to incorporate industry-standards into our HP NetServer systems," says Barbara Braun, R&D Lab Manager for HP's Network Server Division. "By setting a single PCI industry standard, Active PCI provides a consistent means for adding and replacing PCI cards online. It also represents a clear refinement of a key high-availability feature for operating environments."

"The adoption of Active PCI technology offers developers the opportunity to build -- using industry standard components -- computer systems and peripherals that never need to be shut down for maintenance or expansion," says David Pulling, Vice President of Marketing at Reliance Computer Corporation. "Reliance is committed to providing OEMs the most advanced microprocessor ServerSet technology including support for this new high availability PCI standard."

"In today's round-the-clock business environment, customers want to maximize uptime and availability. " observes Jeff Hornung, Director of Enterprise Server Product Marketing at Dell Enterprise Systems Group. "By offering Active PCI on future PowerEdge servers targeted for mission-critical environments, Dell is able to address customers' high availability requirements by allowing them to replace failed PCI network interface cards without taking down the server."

Information on the Netfinity X-Architecture can be found at www.pc.ibm.com/us/netfinity/xarchitecture.