News in Brief

Unisys releases MS Datacenter High Availability Program; HP realigns

Unisys Unveils Windows Datacenter High-Availability Program by Scott Bekker (Courtesy of )

Last week Unisys declared its Microsoft Datacenter High Availability Program ready to go.

The program is part of a Windows Server 2003-related overhaul of the Windows Datacenter Program, the support regimen that helped guarantee the availability of Microsoft's high-end Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.

While Unisys is the first to announce that its new support program is ready, customers can't buy Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition on Unisys ES7000 servers for about a month. Due to the need to run hardware and software configurations through Microsoft's series of tests in order to be certified to sell the Datacenter edition of Windows, Unisys doesn't expect to offer the OS until June. Unisys is well positioned to be at or near the front of the pack of vendors selling Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition.

Unisys was among the vendors working closely with Microsoft in developing the newer support program and has tested aspects of it with JDP customers in the pre-release phases of Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft detailed the specifics of its new Datacenter High Availability Program in February. Changes include a new High Availability Resolution Queue, a more regimented version of the old Joint Support Queue, and shorter stress tests for vendor's to recertify their systems after changing minor components.

Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition is the second generation of Microsoft's data-center class offering. Improvements over the three-year-old original include, in addition to the new high availability program, support for 64-bit processors, up to 64 Itanium Family processors in SMP configurations, up to 512 GB of RAM and eight-node failover clustering.

HP Re-Aligns

Hewlett-Packard Co. last week announced a major reorganization of the hardware divisions in its Enterprise Systems Group (ESG) into a new group.

HP’s Business Critical Systems, Industry Standard Servers, and Network Storage Solutions will be consolidated as part of a new group, called Enterprise Storage and Servers (ESS). HP tapped senior VP Scott Stallard to head up ESS.

In some respects, suggests Gordon Haff, a senior analyst with consultancy Illuminata Inc., HP’s reorganization is similar to a shuffle that IBM initiated in 2000 when it grouped its various hardware product divisions—S/390 mainframe, AS/400 minicomputer, RS/6000 RISC-Unix, and Netfinity Intel—under the eServer umbrella.

The goal, Haff points out, is tighter integration between units, leading to synergies across computing platforms. “IBM has steadily brought technologies down from the mainframe to other platforms, and currently there’s a lot of technology-sharing between [the different eServer groups],” he observes.

In addition, HP announced plans to create a new group within ESG—Business Management and Operations. The new group will manage ESG’s operations, including marketing and business-management.

HP also announced another new group, Global Accounts, to help bolster its sales organization. The new group will work to more effectively market HP hardware and services to corporate accounts.

The Software Global Business Unit, also a part of ESG, will not be changed, HP’s Peter Blackmore, executive vice president of the ESG, confirmed in a press conference last week.

About the Author

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