Microsoft completes Windows 2000 family

Microsoft Corp. shipped the final piece of its Windows 2000 product family

last week with the release of its Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server,

which can enable agencies looking to consolidate large server farms or mainframes

into one box with a single point of contact.

The Windows 2000 Datacenter Server has been designed for enterprises that

require high-end, reliable software for high-traffic networks, said David

Ouart, a consultant with Microsoft Government. It includes the ability to

support myriad applications and users on a small number of servers.

"This is the first time we can handle the biggest applications and we really

mean it," Ouart said. "It's not for everybody, but larger agencies like

Veterans Affairs, DOD, the IRS and the [intelligence] community are potential

targets for this."

The new servers will provide a platform for Microsoft's .Net applications,

which require high scalability, support a wide range of devices, adhere

to standards such as Extensible Markup Language and support software such

as a World Wide Web service. The new servers are guaranteed for 99.9 percent

uptime and continuous support through Microsoft and the manufacturers, Ouart

said.

Microsoft also announced that Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Corp.,

IBM Corp. and Unisys Corp., have signed on as certified Datacenter partners,

with other companies expected to sign on before the official launch on Sept.

26, said Steve Ballmer, president and chief executive officer of Microsoft.

Compaq Computer Corp. is also a certified partner.

The delay between the product announcement and official launch is built

in so that the manufacturers can do final certifications on the new platform,

Ouart said. "They have to do a 14-day stress test with no errors and no

problems before they can sell the systems."

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