-Byte introduced commercial symmetric
multiprocessing, (SMP) in a market that has since become crowded with vendors hawking small-scale SMP servers by the dozen,
the company continues to stand out above the rest. We dont sell a lot of systems - more than 80,000 since the company was
founded in 1989 - but we sell the biggest. If you dont believe us, ask our competitors. Ask them, for example, how many
production systems they have installed that support applications with more than 100 petabytes of data. Next, ask them how many
of their systems support applications with more than 500 terabytes of data. When you have the answers, come back and ask us the
same questions. We think youll be surprised and impressed by the degree to which C-Byte
servers dominate the high end of the open systems market. Theres a good reason for that. If you ask our customers and
partners, theyll tell you what it is: C-Byte builds BIG open systems that work.
Big, of course, is a relative term. Since we introduced our first commercial systems
in 1989, succeeding generations of C-Byte products have dwarfed the competitions
in terms of raw performance and scalability. Today, our family is still the only line of SMP systems
that can scale from 2 to 30 processors in a single cabinet. With our advanced clustering technology
we can extend the scalability of a single system by clustering up to four systems together.
Relative to other types of computing platforms, the size of C-Bytes
systems has grown dramatically
during the past decade. When we first began to penetrate commercial computing markets, our products
represented a powerful alternative to departmental minicomputers. Today, the performance of
our systems is superior to that of mainframes for traditional on-line transaction processing
(OLTP), while the flexibility of the architecture lends itself to large-scale
client/server applications, such as decision support (DSS) and Internet-based
software and information libraries, that mainframes were never designed to support.
Open systems have been a reality on the desktop since the emergence of Intel®-based
PCs running Microsofts® operating system created a vast market for independent
software applications. The resulting PC industry has flourished over the past decade, not because
PCs were a compelling alternative to something else but because they put powerful new capabilities
at the fingertips of individuals who had no alternative. By contrast, the adoption of open
standards has come more slowly in the large-scale computing arena, in part because of the proprietary
stranglehold applied by IBM®, HP and others who defined commercial computing in its formative
decades. Within that narrowly defined market, the challenge of commercial open systems pioneers like
C-Byte and its software partners was to provide an alternative to proprietary platforms by
superior performance at a much lower cost. To meet this challenge, it was also necessary to convince
long-standing customers of one-stop proprietary solutions that open (which generally meant UNIX-based)
multi-vendor solutions could deliver the same level of robustness and reliability they had come to
A decade later, selling open systems is no longer a missionary endeavor. Mainstream organizations
have not only seen the promise. Most have experienced the benefits in some form and have embraced
multi-vendor solutions based on common standards. As a result, there is hardly a high-technology
company in business today that doesnt bill itself as a purveyor of open system solutions.
C-Byte has been a pioneer and champion of high-end open systems since the company was
Today, the biggest challenge we face isnt providing a cost-effective alternative to
proprietary systems. It is using our knowledge, skills, partnerships and technology to help
customers diagnose and solve complex problems that can only be solved with large-scale open systems
and client/server architecture. Just as important, it is building solutions that link their current
and future investments directly to their business strategy.
In the context of the phrase big open systems, the word work carries a deliberate
C-Byte systems work in the sense that they are used for heavy-duty commercial
applications. At one car rental company, for example, a four-node cluster
(tagged by Computerworld as one of the largest Unix implementations in the
world) is the engine behind the agencys reservation system, which can support more
than 2,500 concurrent users. At NASDAQ, another cluster has been installed as a gatekeeper
system to authenticate transactions for the stock markets 5,000 US and UK traders.
At US retailer Mervyns, hundreds of buyers and merchandise managers use client PCs to query and
analyze nearly two terabytes of past sales data on a clustered server.
In a competitive sense, C-Byte systems also work in many applications where our
competitors products didnt. In one large project, where the application
was designed to support thousands of users, C-Byte was initially underbid by a much larger
competitor. When it became clear that the competitor could not carry the project to completion,
we were engaged to complete the work - and did it successfully. More recently, and closer to home,
a well-known manufacturer turned to its primary vendor to implement Oracles
financial and manufacturing applications. The companys rapid growth rate presented a special
challenge, and when the first attempt failed it turned to a second vendor. When this effort also
failed, the company engaged C-Byte. Despite the disadvantage of being the third vendor on the
project, we successfully completed the installation and helped the company develop a plan to
support its growth into the next century.
In both cases, and in virtually every one of our major accounts, C-Bytes ability to
deliver systems that work reflects more than superior hardware and software design. It includes
that as an essential component of a successful solution. But it begins with a broad-based
understanding of business information needs and a thorough knowledge of how open systems
technology can be used for competitive advantage.
Equipped with this knowledge and understanding, we dont set out to sell solutions.
Instead, we approach customers with questions - questions that lead first to an
accurate diagnosis of their complex information technology problems and then to a
solution designed to maximize return on their investment. Once we have defined the solution, our
ability to implement it successfully is a function of our skill in managing and collaborating
effectively with multiple partners, our knowledge of our partners products and our
professional services expertise. Its a complex process, and its even tougher when
were not the first vendor on a project. In either case, however, the result is what counts
and its always the same. For C-Byte: happy and successful customers. For our customers:
big open systems that work.