Compaq boosts Alpha servers

Users looking for signs of Compaq Computer Corp.'s commitment to Alpha technology should find some comfort next week.

The company is boosting its low- and midrange AlphaServers with a faster, more powerful processor, greater memory support and new prebundled configurations.

Houston-based Compaq next week will announce new AlphaStation and AlphaServer DS20E and ES40 systems featuring its latest 667MHz EV67 Alpha processor.

The systems will support up to 32GB of memory and feature an 8MB secondary cache, both of which are double what is offered on 500Mhz models.

Systems with the new processors will deliver performance gains of up to 60% over current systems, depending on the application, according to Compaq.

A DS20E server based on the new processor, with 9GB of disk space and 256MB of memory, will start at $12,800. Upgrade boards will cost $6,000.

Compaq will also introduce a thinner, rackable version of the DS10 AlphaServer aimed at application service providers and Internet service providers. The new DS10L model will start at $3,300 and will come with 128MB of memory.

Also on the way is a new preconfigured AlphaServer ES40 Cluster Base System for Tru64 Unix users, aimed at making it easier for administrators to deploy high-availabilty configurations.

Compaq's latest moves build on its promise to continue enhancing AlphaServer technology which it acquired from its purchase of Digital Equipment Corp., almost two years ago. Users in the past have expressed skepticism about Compaq's enthusiasm to support these products, given their relatively low volumes and proprietary technologies.

Those fears were fueled further by the company's decision to drop all Alpha-related Windows NT development last fall.

Compaq has remained steadfast in professing its continued support for Alpha technology. Later this quarter, the company is slated to announce its long-delayed WildFire high-end AlphaServers.The 32-processor servers will be the first upgrades to Digital's 14-processor TurboLaser systems announced back in 1995 and are expected to form a core part of Compaq's enterprise strategy going forward.

Wildfire systems will initially be based on 729MHz Alpha chips and will be capable of running both OpenVMS and Unix applications.

Copyright © 2000 IDG Communications, Inc.

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