Sector7 and IBM team up to tempt Alpha customers

Software migration company Sector7 USA and computer maker IBM are hoping to tempt Compaq Alpha customers to migrate their OpenVMS and Tru64 applications to Big Blue pSeries servers with free assessments and other incentives, according to Jon Power, the president and CEO of Sector7.

Announced Tuesday, Power said the free migration assessment program will help Compaq's 64-bit Unix customers decide whether to keep their applications on a Unix platform, namely IBM's, or follow Compaq and its migration strategy over to Intel's industry-standard Itanium platform.

The program is a direct result of Compaq's recent decision to consolidate its entire 64-bit computing architecture onto Intel's new Itanium architecture by 2004. Prior to that time, Compaq will deliver only two more generations of its Alpha processor line to its customers. Alpha chips are Compaq's 64-bit processors, which run Compaq's OpenVMS and Tru64 operating system.

Compaq's decision created a fork in the road for its Alpha customers, who will eventually either have to buy new Itanium-based systems, or opt for migration offers like Sector7's and buy IBM systems.

IBM is funding the cost of Sector7's migration assessment program, and interested customers do have to make some level of commitment to buy IBM pSeries servers prior to the assessment, Power said.

The cost of migration depends on the size of the applications being migrated. Estimates have ranged from "a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars," Power said.

Compaq customers choosing to migrate over to the IBM platform can expect special pricing consideration on IBM pSeries servers as well, Power said.

Not having to re-train network management personal to the Intel Itanium platform is another key advantage of migration to IBM systems, Power said.

As IBM pSeries servers are brought in to run the ported applications, any necessary downtime is typically less than a day, Power said.

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