People and Positions: Compaq’s Elias Named For Hi-End Servers. Burton Smith To Speak on Denelcor HEP. Ciprico Names Ruwart CTO.

January 12, 2001



Howard Elias seized the reins of Compaq Computer’s high-end server group Tuesday, replacing Bill Heil as the executive leading the effort to compensate for shaky PC sales.

Elias, who previously led Compaq’s storage group, now is general manager of Compaq’s business-critical server group. These computers–with their power, lofty price tags and accompanying services revenue–are a key part of Compaq’s years-long effort to expand beyond its roots as a PC company into an all-purpose computing giant such as IBM.

The effort to boost high-end hardware sales is critical in light of lagging PC sales. Faltering PC sales led Compaq to warn in December of lowered profit expectations.

Along with picking up PC revenue slack, Elias will inherit several sticky issues. Chief among them is dealing with Sun Microsystems’ dominance in Unix servers, but he also will oversee the Alpha chip line, the solid but low-profile OpenVMS operating system, and the extremely demanding customers who buy Tandem Himalaya servers.

Elias agreed his division is central to the future of the company. “It is dead center to the strategy of Compaq building out next-generation business-critical Internet,” he said in an interview. He declined to comment on potential changes to the group until he becomes more familiar with the operation, but said anything is possible.

Heil, who will stay on for several weeks to help during the transition, left the post to spend more time with his family, Elias said in an interview. “He’s got five kids. He really wants to take some downtime,” Elias said. Heil has no other employment plans, Elias added.

Terry Shannon, author of the Shannon Knows Compaq newsletter, said Heil isn’t departing under a cloud, unlike former chief executive Eckhard Pfeiffer or former high-end hardware chief Enrico Pesatori.

“He has for the past year been on the road virtually 100 percent of the time. Even Mr. Nonstop himself has got to slow down every once and awhile,” Shannon said, alluding to the NonStop Himalaya server and software line Heil managed.

Compaq once just sold Intel-based servers, but that changed in 1997 with the acquisition of Tandem and in 1998 with the acquisition of Digital Equipment.

Tandem builds super-reliable machines that run such computing operations as the trading systems of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. Digital gave Compaq the OpenVMS software, the Alpha chip line, lucrative telecommunications customers, and a solid services business helping customers select, install and support higher-end computing systems.

However, the digestion of these companies hasn’t been easy for Compaq. For one, an alliance with Microsoft to support Windows on Alpha systems collapsed. And Compaq’s “NonStop eBusiness” strategy to rejuvenate its server sales foundered.

The integration of Tandem and DEC “took them a lot longer than they said it would,” Shannon said. “I think they lost at least five months going in circles, working on PowerPoint slides and org charts.”

Another challenge for Elias will be sharing the high-end server spotlight with the Intel-based Proliant server line run by industry-standard server group leader Mary McDowell. Though Unix servers such as those based on the Alpha chips have long been more powerful than Intel servers, Compaq and others are working with Intel to catch up.

Intel server technology guru Paul Santeler consulted extensively with Unix server designer Dave Fenwick when designing the innards of Compaq’s upcoming 32-processor Intel server, Shannon said.

But it’ll be awhile before Intel servers catch up, Elias said. “As good as the Intel and Microsoft combination of technologies has gotten, they are still quite some ways from having the kind of scalability and availability” that big businesses need at the high end, he said.

Elias, like his colleagues at Hewlett-Packard and IBM, argue that his company’s diverse product line is an asset. “When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. We have a broader toolbox. We can understand our customer requirements,” Elias said.

Sun, which has a hammer made of its UltraSparc chips and Solaris operating system, hasn’t had any troubles with its decision to avoid Microsoft Windows and demote Intel chips to second-class status. Sun is the No. 2 server seller overall, ahead of Compaq and HP and trailing only IBM, according to research firm IDC.

Elias reports to Mike Winkler, executive vice president of Compaq’s global business units. Replacing Elias as general manager of the enterprise storage group is Mark Lewis, previously vice president of the enterprise storage software group.


The Computer Museum History Center History Lecture Series presents Burton Smith, Chief Scientist, Cray Inc., who speak on The Denelcor HEP Tuesday, January 23, 2001, 6 p.m. at the NASA Ames Main Auditorium, Moffett Federal Airfield, Mountain View, CA (Building 201) Reception to follow in the Museum’s Visible Storage Exhibit Area (Building 126)

Advance reservations are required in order to be admitted to Moffett Federal Airfield. RSVP by Friday, January 19, 2000 to Wendy Ann Francis, 650-604-5205 or [email protected]

Abstract of Talk

The Denelcor HEP was a uniform shared memory multiprocessor that used fine-grain multithreading to tolerate memory latency, synchronization latency, and even functional unit latency. Six systems were delivered to customers during the years 1981-1985. This talk will describe the evolution, innovations, and disasters that accompanied the development of hardware and software for the HEP.

Background on the Speaker

Burton Smith is Chief Scientist of Cray. He received the BSEE from the University of New Mexico in 1967 and the Sc.D. from MIT in 1972. From 1985 to 1988 he was Fellow at the Supercomputing Research Center of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Maryland. Before that, he was Vice President, Research and Development at Denelcor, Inc. and was chief architect of the HEP computer system. Dr. Smith is a Fellow of both the ACM and the IEEE, and winner of the IEEE-ACM Eckert-Mauchly award in 1991. His main interest is in general purpose parallel computer architectures.

Established in 1996, The Computer Museum History Center is a non-profit entity dedicated to preserving and presenting the artifacts and stories of the Information Age. It is home to one of the largest collections of computing artifacts in the world, a collection comprising over 3,000 artifacts, 2,000 films and videotapes, 5,000 historical photographs, 2,000 linear feet of books and other cataloged documentation, and gigabytes of software. The collection is housed in a Visible Storage Exhibit Area in Mountain View, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley.


Minneapolis, MN — Ciprico announced that Thomas M. Ruwart has joined Ciprico as chief technology officer. In this position, Ruwart will focus on technologies beyond Ciprico’s core strength in bandwidth and i/o raid storage arrays. Tom will lead the development of several new product concepts and capabilities that Ciprico will incorporate into their solutions including 2gig/4gig fibre channel, iscsi and infiniband.

Tom’s development interests are in hyper-scalable, high-performance, high-capacity intelligent storage systems as well as the effects of evolving and emerging technologies on the storage industry.

“Ciprico is very excited to have Tom as a key part of our technology team,” said Robert H. Kill, Ciprico President and CEO. “He has already made a tremendous impact on Ciprico with his system level insight, background in supercomputing, and extensive Fibre Channel expertise.”

Ruwart brings over 23 years of experience in the computer and storage industry starting in 1977 with Control Data Corporation. In 1984, Tom spent time at a small start-up company, Edge Computer Corporation, developing storage and graphics I/O subsystem software for a high performance UNIX based engineering/scientific workstation. This was followed by a move to the Minnesota Supercomputer Center in 1986 and then to the University of Minnesota where he served as Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering (LCSE). In that position Tom was instrumental in working with the Fibre Channel community on interoperability issues in the beginning years of that technology.

Ciprico designs, manufactures and markets high-performance direct-attached and networked storage solutions, including intelligent disk array hardware, software and services. Ciprico storage solutions are designed for visual computing applications ranging from high-speed image data capture, through processing and analysis, to real-time playback at sustained performance levels. Ciprico is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. More information about Ciprico is available on the World Wide Web at


Irvine, CA & Reading, England — Endeavors Technology Inc., leader in open-source, peer-to-peer (P2P) Web software for Internet-enabled devices, today announces the appointment of Stephen Schwab as its chief security architect.

The appointment recognizes the need for the P2P movement to address security issues as a central element of this new direction in computing technology, and reflects Endeavors Technology’s leadership role in creating the enabling software architecture.

Schwab brings to Endeavors Technology and the P2P sector extensive expertise in the development of high-performance, high-confidence systems software and network engineering. He comes to Endeavors from the recent DARPA active networks project. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was the agency that funded the world’s most commonly used networking protocols. Sponsored projects include IP, TCP, Ethernet, and SMTP.

At The Aerospace Corporation, Schwab led the early adoption of ATM networking technology for LANs, WANs and satellite (global) networks, first by utilizing ATM networks within the DARPA-sponsored Compositional C++/Nexus projects, then co-leading architecture development and start-up of the Pacific Bell California Research and Education Network ARC project, and finally demonstrating production-ready applications on a number of national and global-scale ATM networks.

He has also conducted research in operating systems, distributed systems, parallel algorithms and parallel architecture. At Network Associates, he was principal investigator for the DARPA/NSA Advanced Security Proxies (ASP) project, and the DARPA-sponsored AMP project.

The ASP project is investigating the problem of designing and implementing a firewall for ATM OC-12 and other high-speed network technologies. Utilization of extensible operating systems and custom hardware accelerators is being investigated within this project. The ASP firewall prototype uses the Scout operating system, centered around the abstraction of network-centric paths composed of a sequence of protocol-specific software modules.

The AMP project is demonstrating the use of an Exokernel as the basis for a nodal operating system for the larger Active Networks program that enables active code to be executed securely, safely, and with high performance. Active Networks support end-user programmability of routers via transport and execution of mobile code within interior network routers. In order to protect the network from malicious user code, AMP controls access through the use of hierarchically-named user identifiers, similar to capabilities, that permits efficient revocation of access rights.

“There are very few people in the world with Steve’s mix of security expertise, leading-edge Internet innovation, forest-level view and tree-level hands-on technical skills,” said author and consultant John Sebes, one of the Internet’s top experts on information security. “Endeavors Technology is very lucky to have someone not just with those skills but also the entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to ensure that global P2P deployment is not just done with security, but with security that is done right to fit a complex set of business, technology, and engineering requirements.”

Brian Morrow, president and chief operations officer of Endeavors Technology, comments: “By 2004, over one billion web-enabled devices will rely on peer-to-peer technology as the hub for business workflow. Stephen Schwab brings a wealth of expertise and experience to ensure that Endeavors Technology’s Magi suite software can guarantee the security and integrity of private Peer-to-Peer communities.”

More On Magi

Magi peer-to-peer technology enables organizations, groups and individuals to find, share and act upon information anywhere, at any time, by making the power of a Web server available on any Internet-enabled device. Its open, standards-based application platform incorporates automated e-process agents that enable event-driven, multi-way communications between servers, PCs, PDAs, Internet-ready phones and embedded chips. The Magi suite of tools grew from research carried out at the University of California Irvine, partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and integrates Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) technology. A P2P architecture white paper can be accessed at

About Endeavors Technology

Endeavors Technology is a wholly owned subsidiary of mobile computing and network infrastructure vendor Tadpole Technology plc (, which has plants and offices in Irvine and Carlsbad (California), and Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol and Reading (UK). For further information on Endeavors’ P2P solutions, call 949/833-2800, email to [email protected], or visit the company’s Web site


Fremont, CA and Acton, MA — VA Linux Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:LNUX) today announced that it has named Richard French as senior vice president of its Open Source Development Network (OSDN) Division. Mr. French will report directly to VA Linux president and CEO Larry Augustin.

Richard French brings 25 years of industry leadership in marketing and development to OSDN, as well as a deep understanding of the Open Source community. Prior to joining VA Linux, Mr. French co-founded Tekrati, a company providing web-based industry analyst relations consulting services. Richard French previously held various senior management positions at Oracle Corporation, NetManage, Cincom and Groupe Bull. At Oracle, Mr. French was vice president of the Enterprise Platforms Division, where he directed product development, marketing and alliances representing annual revenues of more than $1 billion.

“Richard French combines proven management experience with a passionate commitment to advancing the Open Source development model, making him the ideal choice to lead OSDN,” said Dr. Larry M. Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux Systems. “We look forward to working with Richard to grow and enhance OSDN in our ongoing effort to expand the Open Source community.”

Richard French holds a bachelor of mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. About OSDN

OSDN (Open Source Development Network), a division of VA Linux Systems, Inc., is the leading Linux and Open Source destination on the Internet. OSDN is a network and community outreach organization committed to accelerating Open Source software development, which also serves as a gateway for individuals and organizations worldwide to understand and join this revolution. Serving over 80 million page impressions to more than 3 million users each month, OSDN includes the leading Open Source sites for news, information and discussion (Slashdot, NewsForge and, the largest sites for collaborative Open Source development and support ( and QuestionExchange), the most popular sites for Open Source software distribution ( and, online shopping for technical enthusiasts (ThinkGeek), a new print publication (Open magazine), and community discussion forums and personalized content on About VA Linux Systems

VA Linux Systems is a world Linux leader. The expert provider of Linux and Open Source solutions for the Web, VA Linux offers a single point of contact for highly customized Linux servers and storage — featuring the industry’s first Build-to-Order Software — as well as professional consulting services and support. VA Linux Systems’ mission is to make its customers successful through the use of Linux and Open Source software in Internet infrastructure and enterprise-level software development. As part of its commitment to expanding the Open Source community, VA Linux Systems operates the Open Source Development Network (OSDN). A network of the leading Internet sites for Open Source development, distribution and discussion, OSDN includes,, Slashdot and Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Fremont, California, with offices across North America, Europe and Japan, VA Linux is located on the Web at


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