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Former Compaq Execs Announce "Razor": Crusoe-Based Server Platform Running Linux

Jan 16, 2001, 21:20 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Hall)

By Michael Hall, LinuxToday

Transmeta's Crusoe processor and Linux will be key to a group of ex-Compaq executives' plans to "redefine server economics" with a high-efficiency server platform aimed at Internet data centers.

RLX Technologies was unveiled in a teleconference today. Headed by former Compaq Systems Division chief Gary Stimac, and former president of Compaq's North America operations Michael Snavely, the company has yet to produce a prototype of the new platform, code-named "Razor", but they promise it will leverage Transmeta's low power consumption and heat output to provide a more cost-efficient server platform.

In addition to the server hardware, Razor is also comprised of a collection of management tools and applications. The company plans to sell several different packages, ranging from "total solutions" of hardware, tools, and applications to more economical collections of software and drivers.

Stimac is undeterred by early reports that the Transmeta processors are proving underpowered:

"We're extremely pleased [with the Crusoe's performance]", he said. "We believe they can very quickly enhance the megahertz of the system, and we're very pleased with Transmeta's roadmap."

Though the company plans to provide eventual support for a variety of operating systems, Linux will lead the lineup. According to Stimac, RLX plans to base which distribution is included with the Razor platform by region. Red Hat will ship with North American orders, Turbo Linux will ship with Asia/Pacific region orders, and the company has yet to decide which distribution will ship with European orders. In addition, he said the platform can be made to work with organizations who prefer a distribution other than the two the company's announced support for.

The company is still working on a prototype of the full hardware/software platform, but said alpha testing on the software is nearing completion and that a beta release is expected shortly. Though Linux will be supported at launch, Stimac said there's no set date for when Windows 2000 Server Edition support will be finished, except to note that it should be available in the first half of this year.

According to a press release, RLX Technologies' executive team has invested several million dollars of their own finances in the company start-up. To date, the RLX executive team, angel and local private institutional investors have invested approximately $19 million in the company, which is currently raising an additional round of private financing.

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