THE Hong Kong Government has decided to upgrade its mainframe disaster recovery facilities with the purchase of a US$1.6 million mainframe computer from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). The Development and Disaster Recovery Bureau (DDRB) handles application development and emergency backup for Government departments using IBM or compatible mainframe systems. According to K. H. Lau, director of the Government's Information Technology Services Department, increased applications load and MIPS (millions of instructions per second) requirements necessitated the upgrade. 'We were looking for enough MIPS and we were looking for compatibility to run all our applications and software,' Mr Lau said. Departments where there had been a significant increase in mainframe processor loads include, the Education Department, Lands Registry, Immigration Department and Inland Revenue Department. Described as the first system of its size to be installed in Hong Kong, the new HDS GX 6425 replaces the HDS mainframe installed in 1992. 'We have used HDS for disaster recovery in the past so the people there have long experience of our operating environment,' Mr Lau said. 'As a result of this contract we will be working with HDS again to review our procedures for maintaining service to our client departments.' Mr Lau said HDS was chosen because their proposal met all Government requirements. It was also cost effective. Hitachi Data Systems' GX 6000 series is a family of intermediate-level mainframes that offer full Summit-class architecture and capabilities. It comprises seven models spanning a performance range between 16 MIPS and 74 MIPS and to support IBM's ESCON channel architecture. The GX 6425 installed at the DDRB is configured with 512 MB memory, expandable to four GB; and 64 channels, expandable to 128. According to HDS regional director for North Asia Geoff Kennedy, the contract reinforced the role of HDS as a leading supplier of mainframe computers for primary use and disaster recovery roles. Mr Kennedy said HDS won the contract because of the suitability of the system for the prescribed tasks. 'HDS is 100 per cent compatible with IBM software,' he said.