Server Trends & RIPs–New Configurations, Network Solutions

Scott Seebass, CEO at Xinet, reveals that the development and marketing of faster processors and enhancements to networking will empower the server to handle many tasks simultaneously, without performance degradation.

“The need for scalable speed and reliability will drive even more of the server market to UNIX, which is the only operating system that can currently take full advantage of multi-processor architectures—and can scale from a small system to a system suitable for the largest shop,” he contends.

• Networks are becoming ever more powerful, with Gigabit Ethernet now available as well as a fibre channel.

“There is little limitation to dataflow for a properly designed and implemented network,” reports John Werth, director of development, at Shira Computers.

•More intranet applications are running on prepress and printing servers, linking in electronic requisition; customer information; and giving clients access to data, such as low resolution images, billing data and job status.

At Silicon Graphics (SGI) this trend is considerable, contests Wayne Arvidson Jr., industry manager for printing and publishing.

“The focus on intranet uses has been a big turning point for us; we have a whole suite of intranet applications,” Arvidson reports “Capability to do intranet and Internet connections are pushing the server to perform beyond all previous performance levels.” SGI, he continues, sees three directions for the server:

  • driving CTP devices;

  • supporting the move for digital asset management and serving as the tool to support distribute-then-print models; and
  • working with digital file delivery products.

Sharing A Platform
There are great advantages to having the server and the RIP on the same platform. Typically the server is an OPI or a print server that prepares jobs for the next step in the process, which is RIPing. Any functions such as trapping, imposition and color management that can be handled automatically will improve efficiency.

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