IBM morphs Warp Server into e-business platform

IBM has reduced its OS/2 Warp Server line to a single product in an effort to position the platform for e-business and network computing applications.

The company quietly slipped its new OS/2 Warp Server for e-business out the door late last month. This is the first full upgrade to the product since fall of 1996.

The new version groups all the features of the previous editions of the server -- Entry, Advanced and SMP -- into a single product. The company has also added the ability to manage NT servers from OS/2 domains, a series of file system options and a new volume manager.

"This new server is a sort of middleware running applications, databases and Web services between a Windows or OS/2 client and an OS/390 on the back end," says Bill Peterson, an analyst with International Data Corp in Framingham, Massachusetts.

The repositioning of the server, however, isn't expected to help OS/2's slipping share of the server operating system market. IDC reports that OS/2 represents 6 percent of units shipped, whereas NT has a 38 percent share and NetWare has a 28 percent share.

"We are not positioning OS/2 for a fight with NT or other operating systems," says Ken Christopher, project executive for OS/2 Warp Server for e-business. "We are giving our customers e-business and network tools to protect their investment as they transition from legacy systems and applications."

IBM has added a Journaled File System, much like that found in IBM's AIX platform, to handle applications that need high-performance file access on the server. Those applications include Lotus Notes and DB2, which can be used to support electronic commerce. The new file system supports two terabytes of storage. IBM has also added support for Network File System for Unix connectivity and continues to support the 386 High Performance File System.

The new Logical Volume Management feature lets volumes of disk storage be expanded across multiple drives and supports granular partitioning of resources.

Warp for e-business also supports symmetric multiprocessing or uniprocessing deployments. It is Year 2000-compliant and can handle transactions using the new Euro currency.

The server ships with IBM's Websphere Application and Web Servers, and with NetFinity Manager. It also supports integration with Tivoli Enterprise Management.

The server is priced at $US1,700 and is available now.

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