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Unisys ES7000; M7 Application Assembly Suite

Unisys Makes ES7000 Denser, Cheaper by Scott Bekker (Courtesy of

Three years after rolling out massive, mainframe-inspired servers for Windows and Intel, Unisys is packing the big-server technology into smaller, denser pieces that the company hopes will be more digestible for enterprise buyers.

The new servers Unisys unveiled this week are promoted as being able to scale up as well as the older, bigger models, but they will come in 4U, rack-mountable, self-contained units with between four and eight Xeon MP processors. Up to four of the self-contained server chasses, or cells, can be joined through a sideplane unit to build systems of up to 32 processors and 64 GB of RAM.

"That's the new kind of mainframe. It's not the big machine that we have today, but it's the same type of capability," said Leo Daiuto, vice president and general manager of product development and technology for the ES7000/500 series, the name for the new line of servers.

The original Unisys system, which shipped in March 2000, was called the ES7000. It scaled to 32 processors and 64 GB of RAM but came in its own mainframe-sized cabinet, with oversized power and cooling systems. Although the units could be purchased with as few as eight processors, each server cabinet had to have the infrastructure to support up to 32 processors.

"Power and cooling weren't modular. That cost was built into an eight-way," Daiuto said. Everything down to circuit breakers cost more for the large system than for the commodity parts available for a module-based system.

With ES7000 sales approaching just 1,000 units after three years of availability, Unisys is clearly looking for a greater share of the mid-range Windows market. A major barrier has been the relatively high cost of the systems. While a $100,000-to-$750,000 system may be a third the cost of a Unix/RISC system as Unisys often claims, it's still a high bar for users interested in headroom for growing Windows applications.

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M7 Enhances J2EE Application Assembly Suite

M7 Corporation Inc. released version 3.0 of the M7 Application Assembly Suite with several new features plus what the company claims is a twofold increase in performance.

M7 3.0 consists of four major components: the M7 Repository, M7 Server, M7 Workflow, and M7 Studio.

M7 Repository allows developers to share and reuse components, business processes, and web services across teams and projects. The M7 Server provides a means of unified data access, as well as a high-performance persistence system. M7 Workflow is a workflow management system that automates application navigation, while M7Studio is a JSP editor.

M7 3.0 works with all J2EE application servers, including WebSphere from IBM Corp. and WebLogic from BEA Systems Inc., along with the open source JBoss application server. The suite is available immediately. A 30-day evaluation version is available as a free download from

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.