SCO Revs up Enterprise Products for Internet Computing

by Peggy King, Special to UniNews Online


SCO recognizes that many of the high-end PC servers powered by Pentium Pro microprocessors from Intel Corp. are destined to be used as Web servers. CEO Alok Mohan has been talking about "server-centric" computing since his keynote address at SCO Forum96 last August (see UniNews September 25) and the server marketing message was both repeated and amplified at the end of last year when SCO introduced its Internet Way of Computing (IWoC) campaign to promote Intel-based Unix servers as Internet servers. This month SCO executives went on tour to inform press and analysts that IWoC is more than a slogan --- there's an Internet-optimized version of UnixWare now shipping, an Internet-optimized version of SCO OpenServer (Release 5.0.4) scheduled to ship soon, and more hints about how the Java-enabled Gemini I will create a converged operating system product designed specifically for the Internet.

SCO UnixWare 2.1.2 is the first Internet-optimized release to become available from SCO and its OEM partners. Out of the box, this new release of the UnixWare server platform includes the Netscape FastTrack Server 2.0 Web server software, Netscape Navigator Gold 3.0 client software, Morning Star's point-to-point (PPP) for enhanced security, and an Internet-optimized version of Cheyenne Software's ARCserve/Open Lite backup and restore software. The application server version of this release sells for $1,295 per server.

Also shipping for UnixWare are two operating system extensions for clustering --- one general purpose and the other Oracle-specific. SCO ReliantHA is a general-purpose version of the DG-proprietary ccNUMA clustering technology that was demonstrated in Data General's booth at Uniforum '97 running under UnixWare 2.1, the operating system version that SCO acquired from Novell. The version demonstrated at Uniforum '97 ran only on the DG AViiON line of PC servers. SCO Reliant HA now runs on PC servers from other vendors who have OEM agreements with including Intel (for its Pentium Pro), Unisys (for its Aquanta servers) and Compaq (for Proliant servers). Other UnixWare partners include Siemens Nixdorf, Fujitsu ICL and NCR. A $4,000 license for SCO ReliantHA entitles a customer to cluster up to four nodes (servers) that have between one and four processors. Adding servers with more than four CPUs to the cluster costs an additional $10,000 per CPU.

The SCO Reliant DLM, first demonstrated at SCO Forum96, provides high availability and failover for systems running both UnixWare 2.1 and the Oracle7 Parallel Server. In clustered environments, this Oracle-specific product provides database updates to nodes that have failed. The updates are accomplished by rerouting data across the cluster in order to get the database operation completed on a node that is still in operation. This extension costs $3,000 per server for creating clusters of servers with up to four CPUs. Adding servers with more than four CPUs to an SCO ReliantDLM cluster costs an additional $7,500 per CPU.

SCO is not providing clustering products for its SCO OpenServer because this product line will ultimately converge with the UnixWare line when SCO releases its Gemini operating system late this year. "Gemini will be an out-of-the-box Internet server," says Michael Foster, director of product marketing for SCO's platform products division.

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