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Unisys weans itself off homebrew chippery, finally slurps Intel gear

New colosso-iron ClearPath Dorado 8300 is all Chipzilla, all the time

Unisys has unveiled a new range of all-Intel colosso-servers, effectively closing the chapter on Unisys's own proprietary CMOS chips.

The new ClearPath Dorado 8380 and 8390 systems the company will put on sale this week pack high-end Xeons into a 42U chassis and run OS 2200, Unisys' bundle of OS and apps. Unisys has been promising this move for a while and now says the new iron represents "the culmination of Unisys' decade-long initiative to transition the entire ClearPath architecture from proprietary complementary metal oxide semiconductor processor technology to a software-based fabric architecture running on Intel processors."

The machine's internal arrangements are interesting, as there's three bits doing the work. The Processor Memory Module (PMM) runs OS 2200, while the I/O Storage Module takes care of storage and in so doing takes some load off the PMM. Enterprise Partitionable Platforms (EPPs) are where the guest OSes (Windows or Linux) get to run, which they should do pretty happily seeing as each of these hardware modules packs a pair of Xeon E5-2667 v3 CPUs with eight cores and 3.2 GHz on the clock. You can pop 28 EPPs 0 aka “Forward!” nodes - into a single Dorado 8300-series cabinet and share 'em out as you see fit thanks to Unisys' s‑Par partitioning software. That code allows one to create virtual partitions, each of which is “a software-defined blade with dedicated processing, memory and input/output resources for each workload, eliminating resource contention and enabling fast, predictable application performance with exceptional security.”

The new beasts can run anything written for previous generations of ClearPath servers, be they Intel-or-Unisys-CMOS-powered. This year's models can also be clustered alongside older all-Intel or mixed Intel-and-Unisys-CMOS kit from Unisys.

Unisys has a tidy business extending the life of apps it had a hand in creating when it sold previous generations of big iron, so ensuring the new Dorados can keep those apps alive is a no-brainer.

Who knows? There may be others out there who fancy the look of OS 2200 as an alternative to other private cloud-like alternatives. Unisys thinks so, because it's making much of the fact the new iron is certified for SAP HANA. ®

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