Businesses in many industries that cannot afford computer failure, including finance, telecommunications, retail, health care and transportation, employ parallel or cluster systems designed to run concurrently so that if one crashes, another takes over. These companies also need to maximize computing muscle by connecting several servers in "clusters," where separate machines perform together like a single server with multiple processors.
The alliance with Tandem assures Microsoft of greater inroads into this $8.5 billion business-critical server market. Under the terms of the agreement, Tandem will port its middleware, code-named Nonstop ServerWare Solutions--and ServerNet cluster technology to the Windows NT Server platform, as well as participate in the "Designed for Microsoft BackOffice" program by testing and integrating its products with the BackOffice line of products. The NT-based clustering software will also run on Tandem's own Himalaya line of servers.
Tandem will also work with Microsoft to develop a clustering specification, code-named Wolfpack and due for release in early 1997. With Wolfpack, business customers will be able to build high-availability Windows NT Server clusters on multiple hardware platforms
Tandem says its cluster-enabled hardware manages more than 90 percent of the world's securities transactions.