Users cautious on Unisys' on-demand move
Much depends on future processing needs, they say
Computerworld - Unisys Corp.'s decision this week to add a processing capacity-on-demand capability to its enterprise-class ES7000 servers is getting mixed reviews from users, who say it makes sense only for companies that expect their processing needs to grow.
Denis Baker, CIO at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida, said he doesn't need to have extra processing power on hand for the 24- and 12-processor ES7000 systems he runs. "It's not like we're hosting Web sites and have unknown demand that's going to hit," Baker said. "Our user load is more static than that."
Blue Bell, Pa.-based Unisys on Wednesday announced a series of ES7000 Real-Time Capacity (RTC) models that include four inactive Intel Corp. processors along with four, eight or 12 active ones (see story). Unisys will charge a 10% premium upfront for the extra CPUs. But if a user eventually turns them on, the final cost will be no different than if they were initially purchased as active processors, said Mark Feverston, director of platforms for systems and technology at Unisys .
The move gives the Intel-based systems a feature already available on the company's mainframes and on hardware offered by some of its rivals.
George Gray, an executive staff analyst at the Georgia Technology Authority in Atlanta, said the state IT agency uses the existing capacity-on-demand offering on two Unisys OS 2200 mainframes. For instance, a system that supports law enforcement activities contains eight processors, but only two of them are running, Gray said.
The IT agency is now moving more toward Windows systems and plans to purchase ES7000 machines, potentially in capacity-on-demand mode. "We're very familiar with the concept," Gray said. "That's why it has a great deal of surface attractiveness."
Carolyn Lightfoot, CIO at Lee College in Baytown, Texas, has two ES7000 servers and processing needs that she expects to grow over time. Lightfoot said she may consider RTC on future purchases because of the potential advantage of getting approval for present and future expenditures at one time and avoiding budget battles down the road.
But Helmut Porcher, director of operations and system software at St. Paul, Minn.-based Technology Information Education Services (TIES), said he's inclined to buy additional processors as needed. TIES, a nonprofit consortium that provides IT services to Minnesota schools, runs four ES7000 systems, including three with 32 Xeon processors each.
Porcher noted, however, that a downside to buying processors as needed is the short duration of processor life cycles. If users wait eight to 12 months to add more processors, "you might not be able to buy additional processors that match what'salready inside your server."
That could be a problem for users who don't want to partition their ES7000s, he said.
Read more about Servers in Computerworld's Servers Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- ESG: IBM x3650 M4 BD: System x Server for Big Data Analytics The paper discusses the rise of Big Data and the importance of analytics for rapidly extracting insights from this data for improved business...
- IDC: Enterprise Workloads on The IBM X6 Portfolio: Driving Business Advantages This paper shows how the new IBM systems with X6 technology were designed to take clients to a new frontier of x86 computing.
- Driving Innovation in the Banking Industry: Cutting Edge Computing Platforms Make a Difference Analyst Report to show the benefits of the new IBM X6 in the banking industry.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Servers White Papers | Webcasts