Bang a Gong? Maybe. In May 2003 IBM announced a new mainframe computer. As is often the case with high-tech products, the computer has a great code name and a less than inspiring official name. Time will shortly tell which name prevails. From Geek.com:
IBM is set to unveil T-Rex, the code name for its latest and greatest mainframe computer. The new system will boast more powerful processors, new memory, and an updated operating system. This is the first major upgrade to IBM's mainframe system since 2000.
T-Rex's official name is the eServer zSeries 990, and it boasts up to 32 processors, all of which can be added to the machine's processing capacity on the fly. With an almost tripling of capacity over its closest sibling, T-Rex can "process 450 million e-business transactions a day, or can manage hundreds of virtual Linux servers," according to IBM. T-Rex will start at US$1 million, but there will be four available models by the beginning of November 2003.
Though even the word "mainframe" sounds outdated, the systems comprise over 40% of IBM's profits. The target companies for the machines are large banks, retailers, and insurance companies whose current code will only run on mainframes. These usually older companies have complex systems built on the old code that simply can't be replaced. T-Rex is expected to go on sale in June.
T-Rex is a great name, given the fact that it will be the biggest baddest mofo on the block. It's especially provocative since both the concept and the term "mainframe" are seen as dinosaurs. T-Rex would be an enormously bold, confident and effective stand to take.
So, what'll it be? T-Rex or eServer zSeries 990? History offers no comfort here. AMD's chip, code named "Sledgehammer," became "Opteron," while Intel's "McKinley" chip became the "Itanium 2."
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