Sequent outlined plans last week to move from its proprietary Dynix/ptx operating system to the 64-bit Unix system under development by the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) and IBM.
In October last year, IBM and SCO revealed they would merge their respective 64-bit Unix operating systems to deliver a single Unix environment - codenamed Monterey - that would run on Intel's forthcoming IA-64 processor architecture.
Sequent has now joined the alliance, promising to move to Monterey in time.
IBM and SCO said they would also provide common application programming interfaces (APIs) for their existing 32-bit Unix systems, to make the move to IA-64 easier.
But Sequent stated it will ship a hybrid OS - named Unixware/ptx - by the fourth quarter of this year, which it will position as a high-end Unixware implementation. Unixware/ptx is based on Dynix/ptx, but adds Unixware APIs to enable it to run Unixware binary packages unmodified.
Unixware/ptx, like Dynix/ptx, will offer support for the much-touted non-uniform memory architecture (Numa), clustering and multipath I/O.
Doug Michels, president and chief executive officer of SCO, said: 'This expands the range and scalability profile of Unixware. Sequent focuses on the top of the market and always turns in good performance benchmarks.'
John Pattenden, European product manager at Sequent, said: 'With Unixware/ptx, applications scale transparently. They don't have to be re-engineered to take advantage of Numa.'
He added that by the time Monterey ships in late 2000, it will offer all the scalability and performance features of Dynix/ptx.
IBM will also ship versions of its DB/2 database and some AIX middleware products that run on Unixware/ptx later this year. But while Sequent works with SCO and IBM on 64-bit Unix, it has also made a strategic choice to move towards Windows NT. While it advocates a joint Unix/NT environment, it expects to see NT move into much of the space now occupied by Unix.
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