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PYRAMID AND SIEMENS NIXDORF UNVEIL NEXT GENERATION IN CLUSTERING: THE RELIANT RM1000 CLUSTER SERVER

New System Takes Enterprise Computing to the Next Level and is 3in1:
 SMP, MPP and Cluster


SAN JOSE, Calif., and PADERBORN, Germany, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Pyramid(R) Technology, the company that pioneered clustering technology for open systems servers, and parent company Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG (SNI), today announced immediate availability of the Reliant(R) RM1000(TM) Cluster Server, the first in a new generation of clustered systems that more than quadruples the maximum number of symmetric multi-processing (SMP) servers that can be clustered together, while dramatically simplifying the task of connecting and maintaining these systems. Featuring Pyramid/SNI's recently released Reliant UNIX(R) operating software, the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server fully integrates SMP and massively parallel processing (MPP) to vastly improve flexibility, reliability and performance in a wide variety of mission-critical applications.

"The Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server takes clustering to the next level and delivers fully on the promise of integrated SMP and MPP computing. Its new architecture will revolutionize open system computing," said Boyd Pearce, Pyramid's vice president of marketing. "The vastly enhanced performance, flexibility and reliability of the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server will provide our customers with the computing performance, scalability and availability needed to keep pace with increasingly data-intensive, complex business applications and emerging applications like the Web."

The Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server integrates the MPP-based Reliant RM1000 Parallel Server with up to 300+ nodes and up to 16 Nile or RM600 SMP servers (up to 256 processors) in a single system running the new Reliant UNIX operating software, an increase of almost ten times over previous systems. Previous systems could only cluster up to four SMP
servers in the same system. The Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server is a highly robust system that, for the first time, can conduct parallel query processing across multiple SMP and MPP nodes. The ability to run parallel query processing enables the end-user to run more complex queries, involving larger amounts of data, while significantly reducing query run-time.


"With the announcement of the availability of the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server, Pyramid and Siemens Nixdorf have assumed a leadership role in a new form of computing which The Aberdeen Group has christened as 'Fusion' computing," said Bob Sakakeeny and Wayne Kernochan of The Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen defines Fusion computing as the tight integration of SMP and MPP on a single platform. Fusion computing, for instance, can provide customers with the scalable power to run multi-tiered applications on the same physical platform. "Customers now have the scalable power and system management tools available to run large-scale decision support systems (DSS) and on-line transaction processing (OLTP) on the same system," added Sakakeeny and Kernochan.

High Availability

All Pyramid Nile and RM600 servers will now ship cluster-ready, including the ability to run Oracle7 Parallel Server and Informix OnLine Extended Parallel Server 8.0, offering a complete set of features to extend the availability of a single server.

"We are excited about the release of the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server because it represents the integration of the best that Pyramid/SNI and Oracle have to offer, namely the power to combine large scale OLTP and data warehousing within the same system environment," said Dr. Thomas Hildebrand, vice president of Oracle's UNIX RISC Product Division. "For years, Pyramid and Oracle have supported sophisticated customers in these two environments and now we can give them a powerful solution to integrate their decision making process with their transaction processing business, using Oracle(R) Universal Server(R) on the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server."

The Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server guards against hardware faults through redundant design to eliminate single points of failure and provides continuous database availability. It can also provide automatic application switch over to greatly speed the recovery time of an unexpected application failure. These features provide the reliability and availability needed for business-critical applications.

Investment Protection Through Mesh Interconnect

A high-bandwidth, scalable mesh interconnect is used to connect the Reliant RM1000 to the Nile or RM600 enterprise servers that form the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server. Merely adding a new board which fits into an existing slot in the Nile or RM600 platform will complete the connection of a Nile or RM600 to the Reliant RM1000. The mesh fabric connects the CPUs in the system and enables all the CPUs to communicate with each other. From this perspective, the Reliant RM1000 is acting primarily as a very capable connection device. The combination of the high-speed mesh interconnect with the recently released Reliant UNIX operating system provides the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server with its advanced clustering capability and enables the foundation for running increasingly complex and data-intensive mission-critical applications.

The high-availability mesh interconnect dramatically simplifies system set-up and reduces both system maintenance and system malfunctions as a result of cable failures. An earlier system clustering four Nile servers with a terabyte of storage, for example, would require hundreds of cables to fully connect the system. Using the mesh interconnect requires only a dual connection running from each of the clustered platforms to the central Reliant RM1000. A system connecting four Nile servers would require only four such connections.

The mesh interconnect permits the Reliant RM1000 to treat all clustered Nile or RM600 servers as nodes which allows seamless integration of decision support systems (DSS) and on-line transaction processing (OLTP) systems. Using the Relliant RM1000 Cluster Server, Pyramid/SNI's Smart Warehouse(TM) takes the exclusively mission-critical DSS data warehouse and ramps it up into an operational data warehouse, whose information can be fully accessed and employed from anywhere in the organization. The Smart Warehouse delivers the breakthrough efficiencies of closed-loop decision making by linking the OLTP and DSS systems: not only can decisions be made quickly, but they can be implemented just as swiftly from within the system.

Enhanced Performance and Flexibility

In addition to facilitating bi-directional communication, integrating the Nile or RM600 servers into the Reliant RM1000 as nodes enhances overall system performance, providing both load balancing capabilities and redundancy. It also makes it possible to off-load I/O processing and communications from the Nile or RM600 nodes to the Reliant RM1000's MPP nodes, increasing the speed with which data and queries are handled.

Pyramid/SNI's Very Large Cache (VLC) technology allows improved database performance by reducing disk I/O's. VLC establishes DRAM cache in user specified CPUs and allows assignment of high activity tables and files to those memories.

In the past, adding disk space and processing capabilities to an operational clustered system was a complex, time-consuming task that often required temporary system shutdown. The Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server's flexible architecture allows the end-user to simply plug in additional disk space and processing capability as needed while the system is operational.

Reliant UNIX

Reliant UNIX combines the strengths of Pyramid's DC(TM)/OSx(R) operating system, which is optimized for large clustered enterprise computing environments, and SNI's SINIX(R) operating system, which provides a high degree of compliance with industry standards and extensive availability of middleware tools supporting a broad range of commercial applications. Reliant UNIX will provide Pyramid customers with a variety of new features, including expanded system management capabilities, an improved user interface and access to more than 100 additional software titles now available on SINIX. Reliant UNIX is expected to attract new software titles more rapidly because of its large installed base.

An advanced operating system, Reliant UNIX features a rich set of System V, Release 4 (SVR4) extensions that enhance security, ensure fast file system recovery, simplify system management and help better manage system resources and work loads. The new O/S supports such mission-critical features as on-line component replacement and uninterrupted operation in the event of a component failure.

Reliant UNIX is compliant with industry standards. It complies with XPG4 Hard Branding (common application environment specifications from X/Open), CDE (common desktop environment) and MIPS ABI (application binary interface specific to MIPS RISC CPUs), and will become fully compliant to XPG4 UNIX Profile (UNIX 95).

Pricing and Availability

The Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server is currently available. The basic system consists of one Nile 150 (2 processors and 256MB of memory) clustered with a Reliant RM1000 (2 processors and 32GB of disk). The RM600 add-in will be available later this year. U.S. pricing for the basic system begins at $295,000.

For further information about the Reliant RM1000 Cluster Server or other Pyramid/SNI products and services, call 800-289-7973.

About Pyramid Technology

Pyramid Technology -- A Siemens Nixdorf Company -- is a leading provider of scalable enterprise servers delivering the industry's most complete range of UNIX solutions from the desktop to the data center. Together with parent company, Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems, Inc., the companies have a presence in 58 countries and more than 130,000 UNIX system installations worldwide. Pyramid and Siemens Nixdorf's combined mid-range systems operations represent over $1.9 billion in sales worldwide and make the combined company one of the largest providers of systems in the mid-range UNIX server market. Pyramid provides premier strategic services for business-critical environments complemented by a full suite of professional programs and support tools that help customers successfully implement scalable enterprise computing. Additional information is available on Pyramid's World Wide Web site at http://www.pyramid.com/.

About Siemens Nixdorf

Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG, Paderborn, Germany, is a systems partner with universal expertise in the field of information technology. With operations in 58 countries worldwide, $8.8 billion in revenues and approximately 37,000 employees, it is the largest European computer firm and ranks among the world's leading information technology specialists. Siemens Nixdorf is part of the Siemens family of companies, which in the latest fiscal year had $61.6 billion in combined revenue and 373,000 employees in more than 120 countries. Additional information is available on Siemens Nixdorf's World Wide Web site at http://www.sni.de/.

NOTE: Pyramid, Reliant and OSx are registered trademarks and Nile, DC and Smart Warehouse are trademarks of Pyramid Technology. UNIX is a registered trademark of Siemens Nixdorf. UNIX is a licensed registered trademark of X/Open Company Ltd. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.
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/CONTACT: Karen O'Brien of Pyramid Technology, 408-428-9000, or kobrien@pyramid.com; or Chris Castillo or Ruth Burns of Neale-May & Partners, 415-328-5555, for Pyramid/

CO: Pyramid Technology ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT

MS -- SJM001 -- 0617 03/11/96 08:58 EST
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