IBM Winning Over Sequent NUMA Users

San Antonio

IBM needn't fear that its customers for Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) servers will run to the battlements shouting "Remember Sequent!" in rebellion. In fact, those gathered at the meeting for former Sequent users here, barely a block from the Alamo, seem quite satisfied that IBM's acquisition of scalable server maker Sequent Computer Corp. has improved their information technology operations.

"We were really concerned when we learned that IBM was buying Sequent," said Rosa Hobleman, end-user support and operations manager at the Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Calif. "But the only difference we see is with their business cards." She said the acquisition helped the court add to its NUMA server farm when it recently purchased an RS/6000 system because her reseller could leverage its IBM connections for delivery and service.

At Omaha-based hotel, restaurant and cruise ship firm Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, a Sequent customer since 1988, there was similar anxiety. Tom Sikyta, senior director of technical services, said he was worried about IBM's commitment to service because the company is so large. But the past five months have eased his mind.

"IBM might even bring some cost benefits to us" with more aggressive pricing on NUMA-Q servers, Sikyta said.

Kelly Smith, manager of systems administration at document management firm Lanier Worldwide Inc. in Atlanta, said he had concerns as well. But he said that by tacking IBM's logo on NUMA products, the systems have been able to attract broader independent software vendor support.

New Servers Unveiled

In addition to third-party products, IBM last week unveiled three new ones for its NUMA server line. The company announced here that its DB2 Universal Database will be available on the Intel-based NUMA-Q servers. It will include a DB2 software developer's kit, a runtime client and DB2 Connect, which will link NUMA-Q servers running DB2 with databases on OS/390 mainframes.

IBM also said its Shark enterprise storage systems will work with NUMA-Q servers for handling online data storage requirements up to 500 terabytes. It also announced NUMACenter Director, a Web-based console that provides a single way to manage Unix and Windows NT and 2000 servers.

David Pendery, an analyst at Illuminata Inc. in Nashua, N.H., said IBM is "a scaling company" and offers products for IT businesses with all levels of skill, which is why the Sequent purchase was so important. "They needed a big-time Intel server to round out their offerings," he said.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon