Tandem Computers Inc.'s CS150, the first clustered server based on Microsoft's Windows NT operating system, is selling faster than it can be manufactured.
Tandem has shipped more than 200 since June and is "sold out," said Norman Goldberg, vice president of financial services industry marketing. "The demand far exceeds our ability to manufacture, although we intend to fix this as quickly as we can."
Japan, he said, is overwhelmingly endorsing the CS150, a result of banking industry deregulation and financial institutions' moves to manage and market themselves differently.
The CS150 incorporates two Intel Pentium Pro-based servers in a single cabinet-a total of four processors-with Microsoft's Cluster Server and Tandem's ServerNet. This enables the transfer of data from disc to disc without tying up the central processing unit.
A minimum configuration sells for $15,000, but in practice the costs for an average installation-including software, server, and license-run between $20,000 and $22,000.
"The CS150 is a pure vanilla Microsoft NT system," said Mr. Goldberg. "There is nothing proprietary about it."
The significance of the CS150 is that it can provide 24-hour, seven-day- a-week processing availability at high speed.
"There is no single point of failure," Mr. Goldberg said. In the event of system failure, the processes running on the failed node automatically recover on the other node.
Highlighting advantages for the financial services industry, he said "some customers will drive ATMs with it, others will drive call centers or multiple-branch networks with it."
No specific benchmark tests have determined the maximum volumes the Tandem CS150 can handle.
Tandem's NonStop Kernel Himalaya platform drives 80% of the automated teller machines in the world, servers on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, and most of the interbank messages on the Swift banking communications network.
"We're committed to two platforms," said Mr. Goldberg. "Our NonStop Kernel at the high end and then Windows NT.
"We see the real strategy in our customers interconnecting the CS150 (with other systems) or running it stand-alone," he added.
Forty percent of Tandem's revenues come from the financial services industry purchases of Himalaya and NT systems. Another 35% comes from telecommunications companies buying Unix, Himalaya, and NT systems, and the remaining 25% comes from retailing, transportation, data warehousing, and manufacturing.
At a Windows NT show in San Francisco on Aug. 13, Tandem made two other announcements: the launch of the enterprise-class CR1000 RAID storage subsystem, which provides continuous access to distributed data in a clustered environment; and the extension of its continuous care services and support program from the Tandem NonStop Himalaya platform to a Windows NT Server platform.