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Tandem Introduction Page
Tandem Computers are among the most reliable, fault-tolerant and scalable platforms in the world today.
Tandem Computers are officially called HP NonStop servers - the name given to them by HP after HP acquired Compaq, which had earlier acquired Tandem Computers. But the old timers still prefer the name Tandem, and we shall stick to that on these web pages. The company is headquartered in Cupertino, California.
Their dominance in the field of fault-tolerant and reliable computing can be gauged from the fact that an overwhelming majority of stock exchanges, banks, ATM networks, telephone exchanges, emergency services, etc. rely on Tandem computers to power their operations.
In these pages you will find all you need to know about Tandem Computers - from the basic introduction, history, to a small FAQs page.
A Brief History of Tandem:
(This is the brief version of the details history available on this website through the Tandem History link on the left panel of this page)
The company, Tandem Computers was formed in 1974, when a couple of engineers, led by James Treybig (aka Jimmy T.) left HP and decided to build a hardware and software platform which could resist any "single-point-of-failure" and provide highly reliable computing.
The company soon became successful and was taken over by Compaq 1997, which in turn was later acquired by HP in 2003. This, most people believe was a homecoming of sorts for Tandem.
The USP of Tandem:
A Tandem server can withstand any single-point-of-failure, no matter what and where the failure is. Most often it can also withstand two or more points of failures, however, tolerance to a single-point-of-failure is guaranteed by the design. What this means is that no matter which disk drive crashes, which device controller malfunctions, which CPU fails, which cable you cut and which power supply runs out, the system still stays up and running!
Tolerance to a single-point-of-failure also requires that all single-faults be detectable and repairable online, without having to bring down the system.
This feature makes the Tandem systems a favoured platform for organizations where unplanned downtime is just not an option - especially banks's ATM networks and stock exchanges, and to a lesser degree, the telephone switching networks. Another very popular system which runs on Tandem is the US's 911 emergency service. Need we say more where to use these computers?
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