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Capellas eyeballs McNealy in cluster bluster

Big Q's Tru64 is entrenched, Sun systems are proprietary

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A team of executives at Compaq now takes the threat from Sun Microsystems to its own business so seriously that it spent the festive season not scoffing turkey and plum duff, but instead scoffing at Sun and calling its Cluster platform duff.

The Register has seen a Compaq confidential document which it intends to show its corporate customers in a bid to persuade them not to spend any more dollars on Sun tin or software.

According to Compaq suits, Sun's claim that it is providing the first clustered file service for standard platforms is untrue and the system is instead proprietary.

Compaq's document says: "Sun claims they are 'still running the industry standard UFS, whereas Compaq has chosen to only support the Advanced File System (AdvFS)'. But Sun's UFS is actually far from standard. It has been modified to include 'Solaris UFS Logging' and probably other items. It's now as proprietary as AdvFS. Few customers interested in high availability have any desire to run UFS as their cluster file system. Compaq supports UFS for read access only so customers can port to the more feature rich AdvFS."

Compaq also denies that Sun Cluster 3.0 is the first to be designed specifically for the Internet, and claims, rather unsurprisingly we guess, that TruCluster Server is "deeply entrenched" in the Internet market. Whether it's good for Tru64 to be in any kind of trench at all is not addressed.

Capellas' company claims that its Alpha Server and Tru64 Unix links with practically all Oracle products, as well as business intelligence and customer relationship manager software.

Nor is the Solaris operating environment kernel much cop, according to the Compaq document. The firm claims that Sun "conveniently omitted" application start up time in its figures for failover and recovery, and that the multiple system disks used in Sun environments causes inconsistencies in a cluster.

Compaq describes Sun Cluster as "unproven" for large corporations, and that there are a number of features about this technology which restrict configuration of network devies, disk drives and other systems that can be clustered.

There's a heap more of this stuff, but our selection from the document we saw gives a fair idea of what Compaq - sorry, the Inspiration Company - is telling its corporate customers. If Sun would care to give its response, we'd be happy to hear from the firm. ®

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