IBM is upgrading its Windows NT server line with new models thatoffer much faster throughput to storage subsystems and mainframes. IBM officials say the systems are evidence of the company's effort to better integrate its own products.
IBM this week will introduce its top-of-the-line NT Netfinity 7000M10, the first NT server from IBM to support Fibre Channel storage. New Fibre Channel components for the system include a RAID controller, host adapter, and hub. Fibre Channel's 100-Mbps transmission speeds are more than twice as fast as SCSI's. The server can hold up to four Intel 400-MHz Xeon chips. An optional Escon adapter provides a data path between the 7000M10 and IBM's S/390 mainframes at speeds up to 200 Mbps.
Fibre Channel brings IBM's NT server line up to par with recent offerings from Compaq and Dell. In fact, IBM may have an edge because of its experience with Fibre Channel across other parts of its product line, says Devin Comiskey, an analyst with D.H. Brown.
Two other Netfinity models are the 5500M10, which supports up to two Xeon chips, and the 5000, which comes with Pentium II processors.