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New Unisys high-end ClearPath systems deliver mainframe performance on Intel-based platform

Posted on 12-Oct-2012 15:31 | Filed under: News

Unisys Corporation today announced new members of its ClearPath family of enterprise servers featuring an updated architecture that combines the latest Intel processors with Unisys enterprise-class virtualisation technology.

The new high-end ClearPath systems demonstrate that servers based on Intel processors can deliver large-scale mainframe performance rivaling that of systems based on proprietary processor architectures.

The new offerings comprise the high-end ClearPath Libra 6200 Series, the mid-range Libra 4200 Series and the entry-level and mid-range ClearPath Dorado 4200 Series. All three series of systems use powerful new high-end members of the Intel Xeon Processor family, complemented by Unisys’ secure partitioning (s-Par) technology for enterprise-class virtualisation, to boost performance significantly beyond that delivered by previous Intel processor-based and even proprietary systems.

The new systems represent the latest stage in Unisys’ ongoing evolution of the ClearPath family to an open architecture based on Intel processors. These “NextGen” systems enable ClearPath clients to continue using mission-critical applications without change, while simplifying application modernisation and reducing enterprise-computing costs.

The new system architecture also lays the foundation for further software enhancements that extend the capabilities of the ClearPath family to help clients meet future data center challenges.

“Our new ClearPath systems represent the most dramatic proof yet of Unisys’ commitment to provide an increasingly powerful, open environment to meet our clients’ rapidly evolving enterprise application requirements,” said Bill Maclean, vice president, ClearPath portfolio management, Unisys. “We will continue integrating new technologies that enhance ClearPath systems’ unmatched power, security, reliability and availability to help our clients build on their long-term investment in mission-critical business applications.”

The Unisys s-Par secure partitioning technology is designed for mission-critical environments. It brings enterprise-class virtualisation to clients’ data centers and helps them streamline resource management and simplify application modernisation.

The s-Par technology enables multiple secure partitions on a Unisys system based on Intel processors. A partition running the ClearPath operating environment works with other active partitions that incorporate special-purpose processors called specialty engines.

The specialty engines enable specific functions, such as Java application deployment and web services for application modernisation. For example, the ClearPath ePortal specialty engine provides web services that enable mobile devices to be integrated into the ClearPath environment. It permits mobile users to execute transactions through familiar interfaces without requiring changes to the ClearPath application.

The s-Par architectural approach eliminates the performance and security issues associated with commodity virtualisation technologies. Each secure partition in an s-Par-controlled system is configured with dedicated processors, memory and I/O channels. Communications among the secure partitions occur at memory speed – faster than they would over conventional network connections. Each secure partition managed by s-Par functions as an independent server, increasing system reliability because a fault in one partition does not affect others.

Like all ClearPath Libra systems, the high-end ClearPath Libra 6200 Series runs the MCP operating environment. The system’s processor complex features full redundancy across components – processor/memory nodes, I/O subsystems and parallel operations servers – yielding high performance and availability. This new system’s processor performance is comparable to that of the high-end Libra 700 series server, which is based on Unisys proprietary processor technology. The Libra 6200 also nearly quadruples the I/O performance of the Libra 700 system.

Those performance capabilities make the Libra 6200 Series an ideal platform for mission-critical, transaction-intensive applications as well as for batch processing.

Like all new and existing ClearPath systems, the Libra 6200 Series provides clients with options for purchasing computing power. Clients can choose a traditional performance-based system-software licensing model based on fixed costs, or they can opt for a pay-for-use business model based on metering technology.

The mid-range Libra 4200 Series boosts processor performance up to 43 percent over that delivered by predecessor Intel processor-based Libra models, and improves I/O performance from 40 percent to 120 percent over that of comparable proprietary and Intel-based Libra systems, respectively. The Libra 4200 Series offers users a smooth growth path from older Libra systems, because they can migrate applications without changing object code.

The new ClearPath Dorado 4200 Series systems run the OS 2200 operating environment. Featuring a bundled specialty-engine module using s-Par technology, these systems provide up to 33 percent greater computing performance over comparable Intel processor-based predecessor models and up to 233 percent over previous proprietary models.

High-availability (HA) and dual-partition options are available for the mid-range Dorado 4200 models. The HA option provides a dual processor-cell and I/O subsystem complex for failover protection. One or both cells can be defined for production or backup, switching roles as necessary if either unit fails. The dual-partition option enables both cells to be used for production, with workloads split between the two.

Price ranges for basic configurations of the new ClearPath systems are as follows:

  • Libra 6200 Series: from $1.3 million
  • Libra 4200 Series: from $959,000.
  • Dorado 4200 Series: from $325,000.