Trinium servers execute up to 3,200 MIPS

The first copper-based Skyline Trinium servers from Hitachi Data Systems Corp.,
announced today, will run nearly twice as fast as current Skyline servers under IBM
OS/390.


The Trinium servers’ ACE/2 processors hybridize bipolar and complementary
metal-oxide semiconductor technologies. The second-generation ACE/2 chips have 0.20-micron
copper circuitry and silicon-on-insulator fabrication.


“We had to move beyond just another turn of the crank on the mainframe,” said
Bill Tudor, director of systems architecture for Hitachi Data Systems of Santa Clara,
Calif.


Based on modeling estimates, a Trinium box could handle more than 22,000 simultaneous
users of an enterprise resource planning application, officials said. It also could act as
a high-transaction electronic commerce server.


The ACE/2 processor executes 280 million instructions per second, in contrast with its
150-MIPS processor, Hitachi officials said. A four-processor Trinium Skyline achieves more
than 1,000 MIPS, and a 16-processor Trinium reaches 3,200 MIPS, they said.


Four- to 12-processor Triniums will be available in September, and 13- to 16-processor
configurations will be ready early next year. A 12-processor Trinium will cost about $10
million, officials said.


Although multiprocessing efficiency drops as more processors are added, Hitachi claims
80 percent efficiency with the 12-way Trinium, an efficiency factor “the engineers
think they can achieve even with 16 processors,” Tudor said.


Space and power requirements per MIPS will be about half those of current Skyline
servers, he said. Trinium servers will have up to 64G of memory and up to 512 input/output
channels that support IBM S/390 protocols over Fibre Channel media.


Hitachi has duplicated all components so that the Skyline Trinium can undergo repair or
upgrade without coming down. “You essentially have multiple machines in one
box,” Tudor said. “It can be in a data center for five or six years and never be
out of operation for a second.”


A data center could logically partition a 12-processor Trinium into more than one
virtual server, each having its own serial number and CPU version number. Virtual servers
could be a negotiating lever to hold down prices for agencies’ OS/390 software, he
said.


Hitachi’s IntraPlex logical clustering facility works faster than physical
coupling, Tudor said. “You have a single footprint yet complete redundancy,” he
said. The largest federal concentrations of Hitachi mainframe CPUs are at the Customs
Service, IRS, Social Security Administration, and Defense and Interior departments.


Vion Corp. of Washington is Hitachi Data Systems’ exclusive federal
reseller. 

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