Unisys Unveils Innovative Enterprise-Class Virtualization to Give ClearPath Clients Greater Data Center Efficiency

New secure partitioning technology and platforms extend Unisys investments in flagship ClearPath environment as engine of the contemporary data center

Oct 19, 2010, 08:00 ET from Unisys Corporation

BLUE BELL, Pa., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) today announced a range of innovative new offerings that significantly increase the performance and cost-efficiency of data centers powered by its ClearPath family of mainframe servers.

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The new offerings include secure partitioning (sPar), a Unisys-developed virtualization technology for ClearPath systems based on Intel processors. The sPar capability brings enterprise-class virtualization to clients' data centers, enabling ClearPath users to make more efficient use of special-purpose processors called specialty engines to modernize applications and streamline resource management.

Unisys also announced the addition of more powerful mid-range Intel processor-based models to the ClearPath Libra and Dorado families: the sPar-enabled Libra 4100 Series and the Dorado 4100 Series.

"Unisys is committed to giving ClearPath clients new options to make their operations more efficient and cost-effective and to build on their long-term investment in mission-critical systems," said Bill Maclean, vice president, ClearPath portfolio management, Unisys. "These new offerings continue our investments to make the ClearPath systems the axis of a next-generation data center that delivers IT resources more efficiently, and with greater reliability and security, than ever before."

Secure Partitioning Helps Specialty Engines Redefine the Data Center

In its initial release, the sPar technology -- debuting with the new ClearPath Libra 4100 Series -- divides a high-performance system based on Intel processors into four secure partitions. The partitions accommodate the central processing complex -- where the ClearPath MCP operating system runs -- and three specialty engines. The specialty engines perform specific application functions, such as web services and Java application deployment.

Each partition is the equivalent of a freestanding server, containing dedicated processors, memory and I/O channels, and is under the direct control of the ClearPath operating system. Communications among all components occur at memory speed -- faster than they would over conventional network connections.

This sPar design approach delivers the key benefits of enterprise-class computing, including consistent performance and security. Partitioning also makes the computing environment more reliable, because a failure in one partition does not affect another. Control of management functions across all secure partitions by the ClearPath operating system -- including backup/restore and disaster recovery -- eliminates the need for virtual servers to be managed independently, creating a more reliable, cost-efficient environment.

In many data centers, distributed servers perform the functions that ClearPath specialty engines carry out. The traditional commodity virtualization technologies used to manage those servers typically allocate only portions of processor and I/O resources to applications, and do not similarly address enterprise computing requirements.

Unisys Specialty Engines and Services Amplify the Value of sPar

Clients can use the specialty engines to extend ClearPath solutions quickly and cost-effectively to meet evolving user demands for new features and capabilities.

Unisys specialty engines include ClearPath ePortal for MCP and ClearPath ePortal for OS 2200, which enable workers using intelligent devices such as Apple iPhones and iPads to access ClearPath resources through a familiar look and feel; ClearPath MCP and OS 2200 JProcessor, which integrates new Java applications in a secure, service-oriented architecture; ClearPath MCP and OS 2000 Crypto processor, which provides extra levels of data encryption for high-security applications; and ClearPath OS 2200 QProcessor, which provides transparent information exchange between systems through the widely used IBM WebSphere MQ Server messaging facility.

Specialty engines establish a fast, cost-effective means to enrich ClearPath solutions. For example, through the ClearPath ePortal an airline reservation system with which ticket agents currently interact through a conventional terminal-style interface can be transformed to use web services and a tablet device, such as an iPad, to deliver a contemporary interface. This modernization can be achieved without changing the core reservations application. The result is a solution that improves customer satisfaction and lowers overall costs by simplifying operations for ticket agents and reducing training time and errors.

Unisys also announced orientation, assessment, and performance optimization services to help clients implement specialty engines and get the most from their virtualized data center environment.

New Models Leverage Next-Generation ClearPath Architecture

The new mid-range ClearPath Libra 4100 Series and Dorado 4100 Series, available in October 2010, are the latest models based on Unisys next-generation architecture using Intel x64 processors. The new models more than double the single-image application performance of the predecessor 4000 Series models.

The new models have extensive reliability and resilience features, including mirrored memory and redundant hot-plug power and cooling. A high-availability option -- available immediately for the Dorado 4100 Series and planned for the second quarter of 2011 for the Libra 4100 Series -- provides a dual-cell (processor complex) configuration featuring a hot standby. The Libra 4100 Series with the high-availability option includes redundant specialty engines for a scripted transparent failover.

Both new models are available with metering, a pay-for-use system software licensing capability that enables clients to match IT resources to business requirements and pay for the processing power they use, as they use it.

For more on how the ClearPath family is evolving to meet clients' needs as the engine of the contemporary data center, see this post at Unisys' "Consumer-Powered IT" blog.

About Unisys

Unisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialize in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilization of their data centers, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernize their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With more than 23,000 employees, Unisys serves commercial organizations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.

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