Fujitsu Siemens launches mini-mainframe servers

Fujitsu has launched a brace of new server series in its B2000 Business Server range

Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) has launched a brace of server series in its B2000 Business Server range, the SX100 aimed at entry-level mainframe users, and the SX160 with what FSC calls medium performance. They slot below FSC's existing mainframe range, and are based on Sparc64 processors, which FSC also uses in its high-end UNIX servers.

The SX Business Servers run with the OSD/XC operating system, which is a Sparc port of FSC's mainframe OS BS2000/OSD version 7.0. According to FSC, OSD/XC provides unrestricted BS2000/OSD functionality including application compatibility, which FSC said offers users investment protection.

The OS supports service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications, said FSC, which aims to provide a runtime environment that allows for ease of use and enables innovation. This is made possible, said FSC, by an identical system environment, irrespective of the operating mode (Native or the company's virtualization system, VM2000) and the platform (S or SX server).

The SX100 series consists of three models, the C1, C2 and C3, each with a single processor with up to 8GB of main memory. The systems contain a pair of mirrored hard disks for data security, with capacity for up to 14 73GB SCSI disks, and an integrated LTO2 tape jukebox system with multi-terabyte capacity for data backup and archiving. Further storage can be accessed by the built-in Fibre Channel ports.

The VM2000 system supports one monitor and up to three guest systems. According to FSC, operating costs of the SX100 are minimized due to low space, energy, maintenance and service requirements. According to FSC, the SX100 is suitable as "an affordable replacement for older BS2000/OSD systems".

The SX160 series consists of nine models with performance characteristics ranging from 42 to 530 RPF -- or relative performance factor, an FSC-only transaction performance benchmark. The SX160 series can house up to six CPUs and includes 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel, a TX24 tape system with LTO3 technology, and up to 64GB of main memory.

FSC positions the SX160 below its S165 and S200 systems, describing it as "suited for medium-size and large companies which have particular requirements regarding versatility and flexibility".

Applications include server consolidation, as the system includes partitioning and virtualization technology to keep system utilization rates high. According to FSC, each partition, or virtual server, has processors, main memory and I/O connections, and allow virtual servers to be provided with the resources they need according to load.

The company reckoned the server's autonomic features improve system availability, and that the SX160 increases performance by up to 25 percent over the previous SX150.

"In order to measure the economic viability of the BS2000 mainframes, you must take their secure operation into account together with the fact that there are hardly any faults nor maintenance," said FSC CTO Joseph Reger. "The purchasing or leasing price alone does not say that much. But when you add up all the other cost factors, such as power consumption, the space required and future security, the total price/performance ratio is attractive and underlines why Business Servers should be employed in the company's IT infrastructure."

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Manek Dubash

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