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NEC Demos 16-way Itanium Server

SAN FRANCISCO – NEC Corp. demonstrated a prototype 16-way server based on Intel Corp.’s Itanium architecture and designed to run Windows 2000 Datacenter Server here on Tuesday.

The demo at the Windows 2000 Conference and Exposition was the first time NEC (www.nec.com) has shown the product in America. The company put a similar system on display last November in Japan. While the system NEC showed in Japan consisted of two boxes, the server displayed here fit into one.

The prototype, which has a proprietary chipset that holds the 16-processors together, is currently running 64-bit versions of Windows and SQL Server, according to Steve Blanchette, vice president and general manager of NEC’s server business unit.

When it ships, the machine will also run SCO, Linux, and NetWare.

"We’re targeting companies with very large memory database applications and high-performance complex applications," Blanchette says. "This server will compete with RISC-based machines, but it will be based on industry standard Intel and Microsoft components."

Blanchette declined to comment on price or time frame of availability, only saying that it will ship when Itanium and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server become available.

NEC also showed off its second-generation 8-way server, a follow up to the machine it shipped in March of 1999.

This 7U box’s claim to fame is that customers can purchase it with only a 4-way infrastructure, if they so choose, and upgrade to 8 processors as they need it.

"Most of our customers, when they buy 8-ways, buy headroom, and its not uncommon that they don’t fill it," Blanchette says. "This way, they are not paying for the full 8-way architecture until they need it." – Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

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

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