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Digital joins NT stampede

Digital joins a growing number of vendors who are adding support for managing large networks of Windows NT-based servers.

Digital (DEC) today expanded its lineup of software for managing large networks of Windows NT-based systems.

The announcements coincide with Microsoft's "Scalability Day" event, planned for tomorrow, where the company will lay out its plan for making NT a more formidable competitor to Unix for large-scale applications. At the event, Digital and other server hardware makers and application providers are expected to announce support for large NT-based networks.

Digital is positioning itself to face competition from another industry giant, Hewlett-Packard, in the lucrative market for supplying Windows NT support for large corporate networks.

Digital unveiled 11 new Digital Enterprise Services to help corporate customers build new NT systems, and migrate existing applications to Microsoft's server software for Internet, data warehousing, and groupware applications.

Digital also announced a new version of its ServerWorks server management suite, and announced Affinity Wave 4, its latest package for integrating Windows NT and Digital's Open VMS systems.

The company reiterated plans to add Windows NT support for the AlphaServer 8000 server family, and announced the availability of its Marathon Endurance software for Digital Prioris servers. Pricing was not announced.

Support for Windows NT on the Alpha 8200 and 8400 systems, scheduled to ship this summer, offers another milestone for the operating system: processor scalability up to eight chips in a symmetric multiprocessor (SMP) server configuration.

"We've worked with Microsoft to make sure NT runs on the eight processor systems," said Nancy Eppel, vice president of enterprise solutions marketing for Digital. "Our perspective is Windows NT is clearly here to stay. NT is something our customers are asking for, to deploy across their enterprise."

That processor support is good news for Windows NT-based networks, as an eight-way server configuration emerges as a new standard for SMP machines in the industry. Unix opponents such as Sun Microsystems are quick to note that their operating systems offer processor support extending to 64 chips and beyond, in some cases.