IBM’s Sequent server canning incites user anger

13 May 2002 Systems giant IBM is discontinuing its high-end Intel-based 64-processor xSeries 430 server, an unpopular move that will force customers to migrate to other systems. IBM launched the server line a year ago, after taking over Sequent Computer in 1999 for $810 million (€890m).

The xSeries 430 server incorporates Sequent’s Non-Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA) technology. IBM has also announced that it is withdrawing Sequent’s associated Dynix/ptx Unix operating system.

IBM will stop selling the hardware and the operating system at the start of 2003. The computer group has pledged to carry on supporting Dynix/ptx until the end of 2006 and the server until the end of 2007.

IBM insists that customers are being given ample time to carry out the switch to its replacement system – the 32-way p690 Unix/Risc server, launched earlier this year. The US company has presented its decision as a routine case of product substitution.

Nevertheless, a number of Sequent users in the US have reacted with fury at IBM’s decision. Sequent’s NUMA technology never gained large market share, but the company succeeded in selling it to a number of blue-chip companies, such as aerospace group Boeing. The technology allows the user to assemble big Intel-based boxes by relying on four-processor building blocks.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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