Investment protection key to server upgrade

IT managers should make investment protection their main priority when considering deploying new server technology, a leading industry analyst said.

The analyst's advice comes hot on the heels of Compaq's release of its new high-end AlphaServer GS seriesMatthew Boon, senior industry analyst at Gartner, told Computerworld: "As these [high-end server] systems are a long-term investment, IT managers should be certain that the planned future scalability and upgrade capabilities will continue to meet their business needs, not only today but also in the future."

However, he added IT managers who require multi-operating environment capabilities together with availability will benefit from the logical partitioning capabilities in the AlphaServer GS series.

"A key architectural feature of the new Compaq GS systems is their claimed ‘zero latency' capabilities," Boon said. "Zero latency provides the ability to handle Internet transactions in real time. Clearly the capability to provide real-time transactions is essential for the burgeoning e-business model."

The AlphaServer GS systems, which support up to 32 processors in some models, can run both Unix and OpenVMS applications and feature capabilities that are expected to make Compaq a strong contender in the high-end server market, according to industry spectators.

Key among these capabilities are clustering technologies for increased scalability and reliability, the dynamic partitioning feature that allows online resource changes and a modular design that lets users build up their system incrementally on an as-needed basis.

The long-delayed servers mark Compaq's first major high-end hardware technology upgrade since its acquisition of Digital Equipment nearly two years ago. Gartner's Boon, said that it will be "tricky" to tell how it will be taken up by the local market.

But he added the results will soon become clear, saying "with the next generation of high-end products from Sun and HP, it will obviously depend on what the competition releases over the next few months."

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