IBM celebrates Sequent purchase

San Antonio — IBM need not fear that its NUMA customers will run to the battlements shouting "Remember Sequent!" in rebellion.

In fact, those gathered at the annual NUMA users meeting here, barely a block from the Alamo, seem quite satisfied that IBM's acquisition of Sequent Computer Corp. has improved their information technology operations.

"We were really concerned when we learned that IBM was buying Sequent. But the only difference we see is with their business cards," said Rosa Hobleman, end-user support and operations manager for the Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Calif. She said the deal helped the court add to its NUMA server farm when it recently made a purchase of an RS/6000 system.

Kelly Smith, manager for systems administration at Lanier Worldwide Inc. in Atlanta, was concerned for his "beloved Sequent" as well. But he said that by tacking IBM's logo onto NUMA products, the systems have been able to attract broader support from independent software vendors.

In addition to third-party products, IBM this week will unveil three new products for its line of servers based on the Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) architecture. On Thursday, the company is expected to announce that its DB2 Universal Database will be available on the Intel-based NUMA-Q servers. The DB2 release will include a DB2 software developer's kit, a runtime client and DB2 Connect, which will link NUMA-Q servers running DB2 with the database on IBM OS/390 mainframes.

The company also said that its Shark enterprise storage systems will work with NUMA-Q servers for handling online data storage requirements from 100GB to 500 terabytes. In addition, IBM is slated to announce NUMACenter Director, a Web-based management console that provides a single way to control both Unix and Windows NT on Windows 2000 servers.

According to Rod Adkins, IBM's general manager of the Web server division, these products "are proof points on how smoothly the acquisition has gone after less than six months."

Adkins admitted that there is overlap between the NUMA systems' appeal and that of IBM's RS/6000 Unix product line. However, he said, such redundancy is less important to IT managers who will make their choices based on the technical talent they have in-house.

David Pendery, an analyst at Nashua, N.H.-based Illuminata Inc., said that IBM aims to offer 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.

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