Netfinity to support Win 2000

IBM Corp. has added a server and management tools optimised to support Windows 2000 to its Netfinity server line.

The Netfinity 5600 is an Intel-based server optimised for Windows 2000 applications, file, print or Web services. The Pentium III two-way symmetric multiprocessing server comes in two models and features an option to upgrade to Intel’s forthcoming 133MHz front-end bus.

The Intel 133MHz bus will boost performance, although Intel has yet to say by how much. The server also features a clustering option based on IBM’s SP2 switching technology.

“For the Server and Advanced editions of Windows 2000, users should get quality performance on this box,” says Amir Ahari, an analyst at International Data Corp. “If they don’t, it will show that Microsoft has problems with its software.”

Ahari says IBM’s move to optimise a server for Windows 2000 will likely be followed by all hardware vendors.

IBM’s 5600 line will support Active PCI, which allows users to replace failed adapter cards on the fly. The 5600 also comes with Light Path Diagnostics, a series of LED lights within the server chassis that illuminate to highlight failed parts.

“This is the harbinger to the next generation of industry standard servers,” says Brendan Paget, Netfinity product manager for IBM. Pricing starts at US$3,400, and the clustering option costs US$10,000.

IBM also is adding a new management tool, called Netfinity Director, across the server line. Netfinity Director will replace the existing Netfinity Manager.

Netfinity Director supports the Common Information Model specification for standards-based management and Windows Management Instrumentation, Microsoft’s implementation of the Web-based Enterprise Management standard. IBM will provide a series of integration modules so Director can run under IBM’s Tivoli, Computer Associates’ UniCenter, Microsoft’s System Management Server and other management platforms.