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NEC and Microsoft Form Alliance

NEC Corp. and Microsoft Corp. will work together on testing and development of fault-tolerant and scalable server technology, the companies announced Tuesday in Tokyo.

NEC, which already partners with Microsoft in the Windows Datacenter Program, is close to delivering a greater-than-eight-way Itanium server.

That server, code-named AsAmA, is a cornerstone of the new partnership. The companies will conduct joint integration testing of AsAmA with Microsoft's 64-bit Windows .NET Server products in performance, availability and reliability.

The companies will also perform joint testing on what NEC calls multiple logical server operation with AsAmA. The approach is also known as partitioning. It allows an organization to run several iterations of the same operating system in one physical box. For example, a company could divide a single 16-processor server into four partitions of four processors, each with its own version of the operating system.

Unisys Corp., the only company currently shipping a greater-than-eight processor server using Intel processors, allows partitioning, as does Sun Microsystems.

Another aspect of the partnership deals with fault-tolerant computing. The companies will "pursue joint strategies to enhance [the] next-generation line-up of fault-tolerant servers" and "offer joint promotions to stimulate the market for fault-tolerant servers," NEC said in a statement.

NEC currently sells fault-tolerant, one-and-two-processor servers running Windows 2000 that it builds using technology from Stratus Technologies Inc.

Other aspects of the NEC-Microsoft deal are integration testing of Microsoft's appliance server code with a blade server NEC plans to release next spring, joint evaluation and testing of IP-SAN technology, and the creation of Windows system integration centers and services at NEC.

About the Author

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

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