Unisys has updated its ES7000 Intel-based mainframe line, giving customers the ability to add and subtract computing power in small increments, and adding a low-cost business continuity service.

SafeGuard Duplex is a cheaper alternative to Unisys' existing SafeGuard 30m business continuity offering, providing data replication for heterogeneous servers and storage devices, but without the guaranteed 30 minute failover of the earlier product.

"With SafeGuard Duplex, we give customers basic replication capabilities," says Mark Feverston, vice president of enterprise servers at Unisys. "Should that data become business-critical, it's only a matter of a software upgrade to have SafeGuard 30m and true failover capabilities."

Both SafeGuard offerings operate over unlimited distances and support a variety of operating systems including HP-UX, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, Linux and Microsoft, as well as storage systems from HP, IBM, EMC and Hitachi.

SafeGuard 30m costs US$285,000 for 1 terabyte of data, while SafeGuard Duplex is starts at $190,000 for 1 terabyte of data. Both come with three years of support.

On the hardware side, the new ES7000/one server comes with four processors in a 3U box, up to eight of which can be cabled together to create a single 32-way system. Unisys is offering the ability to run both Xeon and Itanium processors in a single physical box for the first time, and has updated the real-time capacity (RTC) feature so users can turn processing power on and off in increments as small as a single CPU.

When Unisys introduced RTC on the ES7000 last year it required customers to turn on or off computing capacity in increments of four processors. The single-CPU increment allows customers to better manage the hardware for spiky enterprise applications, Feverston says. Previously, the ES7000 servers were geared for larger workloads such as databases.

The ES7000/one, which supports Red Hat and SuSE Linux, as well as Windows, starts around $35,000, Feverston says.