A high-end VAX 9000--the first mainframe-class system ever built by DEC--is being unveiled this month, giving DEC a significantly more competitive offering in pursuit of large computer users. While the VAX 9000 will be available initially only in a single-processor configuration, by the end of next year, users will be able to upgrade the system with as many as three more processors. The internal bus between the processors and memory is expected to be roughly 10 times faster than the bus used<' in the VAX 6000 line.
The base configuration of the VAX 9000 includes two RA91 2GB, 9-inch disc drives. The RA91, introduced with the VAX 9000, will be available at first only with VAX 9000 system.
DEC expects to ship 110 VAX 9000 systems by early December under a program similar to IBM's Early Support Program. Early next year, DEC is expected to offer a version of the VAX 9000 that will feature a "hot" standby processor providing a measure of fault tolerance.
It is not yet known whether the new CPU will offer price performance comparable to a cluster of VAX 6000s--a major consideration in its possible use by libraries.