Win 2000 passes Microsoft partner's early tests for stability and scalability

Win 2000 passes Microsoft partner's early tests for stability and scalability

Special to GCN

First, a disclosure. Unisys Corp. is a strong Microsoft Corp. partner and we have successfully integrated Microsoft technology to solve business problems for our customers. With this experience, we have been eager to assess and incorporate Windows 2000 technology into our infrastructure services, enterprise solutions and server technology for electronic business.

Win 2000 has the strength to bring enterprise-class processing to corporate business. It greatly surpasses Windows NT 4.0 in providing scalability, availability, reliability, management, interoperability, security and Internet access.

Epstein's hits and wishes
Hit list

What's good about Win 2000 Server:

  • The complexity and cost of the distributed desktop infrastructure has been reduced.
  • Error-handling improvements prevent failed applications from bringing down the system.
  • Parallel process scheduling contributes to improved scalability.
  • Job Object Management allows a simpler view of applications and processes, leading to better management of complex application environments.
  • A controlled interface to I/O drivers contributes to better scalability and security.
  • Terminal Services allow for remote system and applications control.
  • Expanded memory improves performance and scalability.
  • The functionality of Active Directory and Intellimirror is excellent.
  • COM+ improves stability.
  • Remote Terminal Console allows remote access to the console of a system.
  • Kerberos and PKI security is included.
Wish list:

What needs to be changed or improved:

  • Make the Event Log Analyzer generally available.
  • Upgrade it to 64-bit capability with the availability of Intel Itanium architecture in the second half of 2000.
  • Make Active Directory more administrator-friendly.
  • Expand the scalability of Terminal Services.
  • Improve cluster services to take advantage of new storage features.
  • Add more enterprise-class management tools.
  • Accelerate the availability of certified applications.

Unisys has delivered agencywide infrastructures based upon previous generations of Microsoft software to agencies such as the Coast Guard and the Social Security Administration. The mission-critical objectives of these agencies were achieved through the cost-effective integration of Microsoft technology.

Our early perceptions of Win 2000 were formed with this empirical perspective, along with our experience with early-adopting customers, the deployment on our own corporate systems supporting 35,000 employees and benchmark tests performed at two recent public forums.

First, at Comdex '99, Unisys delivered the largest electronic-commerce system ever implemented on Microsoft technology. We demonstrated the capability to handle 3 billion Web hits per day and 4,000 transactions per second, with the support of a 9T high-performance Microsoft SQL Server database and a 50-million-object Active Directory. This demonstration validated our expectations for Win 2000 Advanced Server.

At the recent Win 2000 launch in San Francisco, the Unisys e-@action ES7000 Server'a 32-processor mainframe running Windows 2000 Datacenter Server'was used to showcase the Amadeus lowest-airfare search tool, a customer application.

When we added processors and increased the workload to demonstrate the new operating system's scale-up capability, Win 2000 exhibited immediate load balancing and near-linear performance.

Unisys gives Win 2000 the following grades:

Scalability: B

Security: A'

Directory Services functionality: A'

Directory Services performance: B

Handling of applications: B.

Irv Epstein is vice president for Windows 2000 programs at Unisys Corp.

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