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Compaq to OEM Unisys’ Big Box

SAN FRANCISCO – Compaq Computer Corp. signed a letter of intent to resell the 32-processor Unisys e-@ction ES7000 servers based on Unisys Corp.’s cellular multiprocessing architecture.

The deal, which Unisys (www.unisys.com) estimates will bring it $400 million in revenues over two years, is a major win for the Unisys CMP technology, estimated by analysts to be a full 12 to 18 months ahead of competitors’ technology.

Inking Compaq (www.compaq.com) to a contract opens a broad distribution channel to Unisys, which previously had signed ICL (www.icl.com) to resell the machines it markets as “Intel mainframes.” The deal is expected to close in 60 days.

Compaq will sell the server under its ProLiant server brand.

Unisys’ CMP architecture allows customers to run the server as one giant 32-processor machine or cut it into as many as eight partitions running different Intel-based operating systems. One partition can be running a different speed of processors than the next partition. When Intel’s 64-bit Itanium chip comes out, an administrator can run a partition of 64-bit processors while running 32-bit processors in a different partition of the same box.

As the only machine on the market capable of running 32 Intel processors, the CMP machine is a critical proof point for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 2000 Datacenter Server operating system, which is supposed to support 32 processors when it ships later this year. – Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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