Editor's comment

Now's the time of year when major server suppliers unveil their new wares. And, writes editor John Charlton, this year's arrivals...

Now's the time of year when major server suppliers unveil their new wares. And, writes editor John Charlton, this year's arrivals show the big players all want to be IBM.

Thanks to all of you who responded so positively to the first issue of IT Today - I can assure you that your best wishes are much appreciated. A couple of readers expressed concern over a picture of the New York skyline, featuring the World Trade Centre, that appeared in our September issue, which showed it intact before the terrorist outrage. I must point out that the issue was set and printed before this event, and we were unable to pull the picture. My sympathies to any reader who found the image upsetting.

As far as the IT industry goes this time of year is traditionally when the major server players bring out new models, or at least details about them. This year these launches have more of an edge than usual thanks to the proposed merger of Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, which, conventional wisdom says, must unsettle some of their users, especially, one suspects, those who come from the old Dec and Tandem camps.

Certainly both Sun Microsystems and IBM will see the merger period as a time of opportunity for them to win over doubters, probably from the Compaq camp.

Sun was first out of the blocks with its 'Starcat' Sun Fire server, with HP bringing out a mid range machine. In-depth details of these announcements can be found on pages 6 and 11. IBM too is about to unveil major server developments just after IT Today goes to press. Indeed, as we report in an exclusive interview with e-server vice president Rich Lechner on page 8, IBM plans to give many of its server lines something of a mainframe makeover with p and x Series machines featuring VM virtualisation. The ability to run thousands of virtual servers is a key virtue of the IBM mainframe line.

This is the territory that a merged HP and Compaq (Hom-Paq?) would like to play in, as indeed would Sun. All three want to be the next IBM - Frankly, given IBM's dominance of large scale computing at major enterprises, Sun and Hom-Paq would do well to play Newcastle, let alone Arsenal, to IBM's Manchester United.

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