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IBM Lifts Veil on Eight-Way Cornhusker NT Clustering.

By William Fellows

IBM Corp will have a Redmond executive pull the plug on several nodes of a five-way cluster of NetFinity NT servers at Microsoft's TechEd '99 in Dallas today; Big Blue's Cornhusker cluster software will ensure all services roll over seamlessly to other nodes. It will be support basic file and print services for demo purposes rather than Oracle Parallel Server. Cornhusker will be available from late summer - at nominal cost - supporting up to eight four-way NetFinity servers. Its expected to support 16- way configurations by year-end, by which time the high-performance SP switch from IBM's parallel RS/6000 Unix will be offered for use with NetFinitys.

It is also going enable NetFinity and RS/6000 nodes to share resources across clusters. The current Nway switch is a Fast Ethernet connection. IBM says Cornhusker leverages Microsoft's Wolfpack clustering systems software and programming APIs both on NT 4.x Enterprise and future Windows 2000 Data Center, but extends Wolfpack's four-way support to eight-ways. Cornhusker inherits technology from RS/6000's HACMP clustering environment plus the Phoenix clustering services IBM will introduce on RS/6000 later this year. Cornhusker includes performance and centralized management, and recovery services. IBM expects third parties to provide load balancing via Wolfpack APIs.

Cornhusker is part of IBM's X-Architecture roadmap for grafting enterprise technologies on to NT to make it useful in mission critical environments. X-Architecture development occurs at IBM's Center for Microsoft Technologies at the Kirkland Programming Center. It is currently dovetailing X Architecture blueprint and Windows 2000. It has worked through a first X-Architecture roadmap including clustering, eight-way NT - IBM's eight-way NetFinity servers using the Corollary-based Intel Profusion chipset are due late summer - high-speed interconnects, OnForever hot plug and chip-kill memory. A second cut of the roadmap is due any time. It will include the promised memory management and run- time monitoring of system status which IBM is working on with Microsoft; memory-mapping (virtual memory) and Fibre Channel SAN. Cornhusker will support eight-way clusters of eight-way nodes by year-end.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 21, 1999
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