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Amdahl to make thin clients

Amdahl says its mainframe and Unix expertise can provide a "PC equivalent" at a lower cost.

Amdahl aims to lower the cost of running and managing PCs in a corporate environment by helping companies set up thin clients.

Amdahl has announced new technology that leverages its mainframe and Unix expertise, in cooperation with Citrix, Microsoft, and Wyse Technology, to lower the total cost of ownership.

Thin clients--also known as network computers--can lower the cost of "owning" or managing PCs since management is centralized on server computers. Attention to individual machines can become extremely expensive if a company has hundreds or thousands of PCs.

Amdahl claims it is benefiting from its expertise in blending existing MVS or mainframe computer operating system software, Unix, and Windows NT operating systems software with traditional desktop computing environments.

The Amdahl "EnVista" thin-client architecture provides end users with a "PC equivalent" on their desktops, running applications on an enterprise server, the company said. The product is designed to support online business applications such as help desk, order entry, and customer service.

The EnVista Thin-Client Solution will cover the desktop, the enterprise server, and the mainframe in environments that can support from 50 to more than 500 users, the company said.

EnVista will also take advantage of technology from Citrix. Under a licensing agreement announced by the two companies, Amdahl will integrate and remarket Citrix WinFrame server software with the EnVista server product line as part of the company's Thin-Client Initiative. Citrix's software allows a client PC to run Windows software off a server computer.

Amdahl is also working with Microsoft and Wyse Technology. Wyse will supply Winterm 2000 terminals optimized for use with WinFrame and Windows based applications. The Wyse Winterm product line is targeted at environments where users seek a method to access both Windows NT and/or Java applications along with existing computer infrastructure-based information.