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Windows & Linux Edition
Volume 2, Number 26 -- July 9, 2003

Unisys Adds New Intel Chips to ES7000 Wintel Servers

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

One of the key OEMs that will drive sales of Intel's Xeon MP and Itanium processors into the data center is Unisys, and it comes as no surprise that Unisys was ready to support the new 64-bit "Madison" Itanium 2 and faster 32-bit "Gallatin" Pentium 4 Xeon MP processors as soon as Intel launched them last week.

The Madison processors are being delivered in a new ES7000 chassis, the ES7000/400 series. There are three different models in this series. They are all based on an eight-way cell board design that first debuted in the "Dylan" ES7000/500 series earlier this year using Intel's Gallatin processors.

The Aries 410 model has either 4 or 8 Madison processors; either the 1.3 GHz/3 MB L3 cache or 1.5 GHz/6 MB L3 cache versions of Madison are supported by Unisys in this machine. The Aries 410 has six PCI-X I/O slots, expandable to 24 slots with additional I/O cages. Using 1 GB DIMMs, the machine can support 64 GB of main memory. Unisys will also support double that, to 128 GB, using 2 GB DIMMs, which are a lot more expensive right now. The Aries 410 has a sustained memory bandwidth of 12.8 GB/sec and a sustained I/O bandwidth of 2.1 GB/sec. A base configuration with four 1.3 GHz Madisons, 4 GB of main memory, and six PCI slots costs $55,000, not including an operating system.

The Aries 420 model of the new ES7000s for Itanium can have 8, 12, or 16 Madison processors. It has the same I/O and main memory salient characteristics as the Aries 410 machine. This machine can be partitioned into two partitions, with four processors being the minimum per partition and eight being the maximum. It can support up to 32 PCI-X slots. An 8 CPU, 8 GB Aries 420 has a base list price of $115,000.

The Orion 430 model can scale from eight to 32 processors in a single frame, but the 32-way machine has to be broken into at least two 16-way partitions. A maximum of four partitions are supported on the Orion 430. A total of 128 GB of main memory can be put in the box using 1 GB DIMMs, but 256 GB is also available for customers who want to buy 2 GB DIMMs. This memory must be split across two partitions, so the maximum main memory addressable by any half of the Orion 430 is really 64 GB or 128 GB. The maximum main memory that Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition can support is 64 GB, so this is the practical limit of main memory in the machine. The Orion 430 supports up to 32 PCI-X slots. A small configuration of the Orion 430 with 16 1.3-GHz Madisons, 16 GB of main memory, plus six base PCI-X slots, costs $220,000.

All of the ES7000/400 machines can run Windows 2003 or any of the UnitedLinux variants of the 64-bit implementation of the open-source Linux operating system. Unisys has a long-time partnership to support the UnixWare variant of the Unix operating system from SCO Group on the ES7000 line, and earlier this year had chosen SCO as its preferred partner for Linux on ES7000s for those customers who wanted to run Linux in partitions. But SCO has stopped peddling Linux, and Unisys isn't talking about the situation, except to say that UnitedLinux 1.0 will run on the machines and that companies will have to go to SuSE, Connectiva, or Turbolinux to get Linux licenses and support. John Keller, marketing manager for the ES7000 line, is unequivocal about what he thinks customers should use for their environment. "Our focus is on the Microsoft world, and our primary push with Madison servers is Windows 2003."

Keller says that while Madison processors will plug into existing ES7000 machines that supported the "McKinley" second-generation Itanium processors, Unisys is recommending that customers upgrade their machines to ES7000/400 models, instead of swapping out processors. The exception to this, of course, is the ES7000/560, which is a 64-way server that mixes and matches 32-bit Gallatin, 64-bit Itanium, and PCI-based blade servers in a single chassis. This machine just started shipping in April and is Madison-compatible.

Similarly, the faster Gallatin Xeon MP processors that Intel announced last week will pop into existing ES7000s that support the prior Foster and Gallatin chips, and they would work with a firmware upgrade. But, says Keller, Unisys is recommending that customers upgrade to the more modern ES7000/500 series so they can take advantage of the better features this box has over earlier ES7000s.

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Intel Counts on Third Time Charms, Performance with Madison

Intel Cranks the Clock, Ups the Cache on 32-Bit Xeon MPs

HP Debuts Integrity Itanium Boxes, ProLiant Gets New Xeons

Dell Starts Out Small with Madison Itanium Commitments

IBM's Summit-II xSeries Supports Madisons, Fast Gallatins

Unisys Adds New Intel Chips to ES7000 Wintel Servers

Timothy Prickett Morgan

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Shannon O'Donnell
Victor Rozek
Hesh Wiener
Alex Woodie

Publisher and
Advertising Director:

Jenny Thomas

Advertising Sales Representative
Kim Reed

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