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Sequent soups up super server

The corporate server can expand to handle up to 64 Pentium II Xeon processors and multiple operating systems at once.

Sequent Computer Systems introduced a corporate server today that can expand to handle up to 64 Intel Pentium II Xeon processors and multiple operating systems at once.

The company's second-generation NUMA-Q 2000 is aimed at corporate enterprise computing jobs such as e-commerce or enterprise resource planning (ERP).

The system can let users change the computer resources--processors, memory, and input/output channels--that are allocated to different tasks while the computer is running. The system can then be tuned for different types of work at different times, so the computer can focus on handling Web traffic and email by day and batch processing by night when Internet traffic is lighter, for example.

The system's processors also can be shifted back and forth to handle either the system's Unix or Microsoft Windows NT workload.

While Sequent's servers rank among the most powerful Intel-based servers on the market to date, Sequent's products are also some of the most expensive. The cheapest Xeon-based NUMA-Q 2000 server, with four processors and 1GB of memory, costs $200,000.

The system also offers integrated fiber channel connections that allow data to be transferred at multigigabyte-per-second rates and allow backup computers or cluster nodes to be as far as 10 kilometers away from the rest of the system.

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