Fujitsu and Intel late Thursday revealed plans to work together to develop mission-critical enterprise servers for the worldwide computing market.The new Fujitsu systems will contain industry-standard Intel processors and run Linux operating software. This represents a major strategy shift, as up until now, all of Fujitsu's servers have had SPARC-based processors and the Unix operating system.
Fujitsu lays claim to the top spot on the TPC-C SMP benchmark, the gold standard for measuring multi-processor server performance, for its SPARC-based systems. This offering will take it beyond that sweetspot.Fujitsu plans to make its Intel Xeon processor DP and MP systems available by the end of 2004. Multi-processor systems based on future versions of the Intel Itanium processor family and capable of scaling up to 128 processors will follow by the end of 2005. These offerings will span nearly the entire server line, Richard Dracott, group director of Intel Enterprise Marketing told ServerWatch.
The two companies plan to work together to develop a "mainframe class of Linux" optimized for the Fujitsu systems, Dracott said.
Plans to port the servers to Window are also in the works, but no time frame for this has been set yet, Jack Hirano, Deputy General Manager and Director of Fujitsu Limited, added.
Following its Linux business strategy announcement last October, Fujitsu created a Linux systems organizational structure under its Enterprise Systems Group. The new servers will come out of this group. The Enterprise Systems Group currently consists of more than 300 engineers who bring experience with interconnect, clustering, autonomous systems, and grid computing technologies to the new Linux-based enterprise system development table.
Fujitsu and Intel will also work together to develop a single tool suite that offers cross-architectural support regardless of product family, Dracott said. The two vendors plan to use Intel's suite of software tools to accelerate efforts with key ISVs to optimize Linux applications on Fujitsu's Intel-based systems.
According to analyist group IDC's fourth quarter server sales estimates, Fujitsu, although not a leading player in the U.S. server market, when combined with Fujitsu Siemens claims the sixth largest worldwide market share, following Dell Computer
by only 2 points.
This is the second announcement of a high-performance computing option to be available for Linux. Earlier this month SGI
unveiled the Altix 3000 series, which runs a single Linux operating system image with up to 64 Itanium 2 processors and 512 GB of memory. SGI's offering is scheduled to ship later this quarter after four years of development.
In addition, Microsoft
is planning to release a version of its Windows Server 2003 OS for Itanium in the second quarter of this year.
Amy Newman is managing editor of sister site, ServerWatch.