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Microsoft Unveils Scale-Up Version of Datacenter

Microsoft this week announced a special, scale-up version of Windows Datacenter Server.

Officially called Windows Datacenter Server Limited Edition, the 32-bit operating system built on the Whistler code base is specifically tuned for systems with 16 or more processors.

It is the second Limited Edition version of a Microsoft server operating system in recent months. The similarly titled Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition, went into general availability on August 28. That operating system, like the Datacenter version, is built on beta code for Microsoft's forthcoming Windows .NET Server, code-named "Whistler." Unlike the Limited Edition of Datacenter, the Advanced Server version is a 64-bit operating system.

Microsoft says Windows Datacenter Server, Limited Edition, will be available in the first half of 2002. That has been the general release date for Windows .NET Server, which was also to include a simultaneous Datacenter version. It was not immediately clear how the Limited Edition would fit in with the general release, or if the Limited Edition release was a signal that the general release of a Windows .NET Datacenter Server would trail the release of other Windows .NET Server flavors by some number of months.

A Unisys Corp. official said the Microsoft announcement was timed to coincide with a scalability benchmark published this week on the Unisys 32-processor ES7000 server. That server ran the Limited Edition of Datacenter to achieve a 200 percent improvement over the previous best Windows-based Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) benchmark on a single-database-server system.

TPC rules require that all components of the test systems be available for purchase within six months of the time that test results are submitted.

Like the current edition of Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, the Limited Edition will be available only as part of complete systems sold by qualified hardware manufacturers. Currently, only Unisys offers technology supporting 32-bit Windows on systems with 16 or more processors. Several other companies, including Dell Computer Corp., resell the Unisys hardware under their own server brands.

About the Author

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

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