Thursday, June 20, 2024

Unisys Answers T-Rex with Dorado

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Striving to answer chief competitor IBM’s launch
last week of the zSeries z990 mainframe, code-named
T-Rex, Unisys Monday took the
wraps off a new line of mainframes geared for Web
services, and also introduced infrastructure
consulting services to help organizations extend
their legacy systems.

The new Dorado family fills out Unisys’ ClearPath
Plus mainframe line, replacing the existing
ClearPath CS7402 and CS7802 models with the Dorado
110, Dorado 140 and Dorado 180.

“The high-end, the 180, is the one that’s going to
be compared to the z990,” Steve Goldner, director of
ClearPath marketing, told

Unlike the z990, which ships with 16-way
capabilities and will then see an operating system
upgrade to bring it up to full 32-way support,
Goldner said 32-way capabilities in a single image
are available for the Dorado line now. The new
mainframes include partitions with Intel Xeon
processors, improved system management tools, and
ship with “an extensive Web services-ready
middleware portfolio,” according to the company.

All three mainframes are built on the Cellular
MultiProcessor (CMP) platform,with Intel Xeon MP
subpods, integrated control over Unisys’ OS 2200,
Windows and Unix operating environments, and
Sentinel self-healing, self-management technologies.

The high-end Dorado 180 scales up to 32 OS 2200
processors in a single image and can support up to
24 Xeon processors in one or two domains. Its claim
to fame is the capacity on demand capabilities which
now includes its performance redistribution feature.
The company has offered capacity on demand — which
give IT administrators the ability to increase or
decrease capacity or processing requirements as
needed, for 18 months. The performance
redistribution feature introduced with the Dorado
180 adds the ability to shift performance among
independent environments or applications on the fly.
For instance, Unisys said the feature will allow an
enterprise to run online processing during the day
and reallocate resources at night — without reboots
— to maximize the efficiency of batch processing.

The company said performance redistribution helped
sell the Swedish National Tax Board (RSV) on its
ClearPath Plus Dorado Model 180, which has capacity
for 200 million instructions per second (MIPS). RSV
will use the servers to run its central tax
assessment system.

“RSV have very high requirements for reliability and
a user population of 13,000,” said Lars Brodin,
information technology manager for RSV. “We needed
the flexibility to distribute and balance workloads
quickly to adjust to changing demands. With the
performance capability of the ClearPath Plus Model
180, we can focus performance where we need it, when
we need it, and maintain the uninterrupted levels of
service required to maintain our operations.”

The entry-level Dorado 110, designed for application
development and testing, disaster recovery and
business continuance, offers up to two OS 2200
processors and support for up to eight Intel Xeon

The Dorado 140 takes the CS7402’s place as the
company’s midrange mainframe, scaling from eight to
16 OS 2200 processors, with support for eight to 24
Xeon processors in one or two domains.

Unisys sees the new line as defining the ‘modern
mainframe,’ and sees them as key to unlocking the
market for legacy system integration, allowing firms
to extend the utility and efficiency of their

“Although legacy systems contain useful business
knowledge, extracting that value remains difficult,”
said the March 2003 Gartner report, “Legacy
Modernization Provides Applications for Tomorrow.”

To latch onto that opportunity, the Dorado line
features a new middleware component which uses
standards-based Web services integration tools —
including J2EE, and .NET — to open up legacy
systems to the rest of the IT infrastructure. This
allows firms to avoid migration costs while
automating business processes, easing system
management headaches and cutting costs.

“We’re taking the mainframe and extending it to
other components in a heterogeneous IT environment,”
Goldner said.

Finally, the firm unwrapped its suite of ClearPath
infrastructure services, through which it offers up
technology consultants, system architects and
mainframe engineers to help customers get the most
out of new or existing mainframe assets. Unisys’
services cover integration, infrastructure, business
continuance, security, performance optimization and
platform modernization.

Unisys is supporting OS 2200, Unix and Windows for
the line, but not Linux, a cornerstone of IBM’s
T-Rex strategy. On the other hand, Goldner said that
Linux does run on ClearPath systems and Unisys
partner SCO Group can support
Linux for those systems, though that company is
having its own
with Linux currently.

“When you buy something from Unisys, you get full
support from Unisys,” Goldner said. “Linux falls out
of that picture for us. There is another vendor
there that does that. We haven’t put it through the
applications tests. At this point we’re not hedging
bets on the Linux future. It’s nice to know that it
runs on our partitions. We haven’t pushed it with
the aggressiveness that IBM has.”

A stripped down version of the company’s Dorado 110
starts at under $100,000, Goldner said, which he
said gives the company the opportunity to reach out
to certain markets, especially vertical markets,
that might not otherwise look at the company’s line.
“You can grow into a system of millions and millions
of dollars,” he added. “That’s a function of

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