Tandem Minicomputers

Paul Berger phb.hfx at gmail.com
Mon Sep 30 11:39:01 CDT 2019

On 2019-09-30 1:27 p.m., Diane Bruce via cctalk wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 10:57:25AM -0500, Jon Elson via cctalk wrote:
>> On 09/29/2019 11:46 PM, Jason T via cctalk wrote:
>>> Well I said no more computers I can't lift, but exotic systems keep
>>> finding me.  So today we pulled a Tandem CLX out of a basement, along
>>> with a few boxes of docs, 9-track tapes and random odd and ends:
>>> https://photos.app.goo.gl/m2N7RKN3JXcmVTUC8
>>> There's such as thing as "so obscure that no one knows/cares about
>>> it".  I've had those before.  Do I have another?  It sure is heavy.
>>> -j
>> Tandem was hot stuff back in the 1980's.  These appear to be
>> the last gasp of their technology.
> I remember hearing that the credit/debit card database we were talking
> to was a Royal Bank Tandem in Toronto when I was first involved
> with Point of Sale protocols.

All of the Canadian banks used Tandem systems to front end the Interact 
it was part of the initial plan for that system.


>> Once you had fast networking between processors, the whole
>> Tandem concept became pretty easy to do on a few ordinary
>> processors, without special hardware.  So, their whole
>> reason for being became moot.
> Indeed.

Yes I suspect anything that HP may flog as nonstop these days would be a 
high availability cluster which would probably include shared storage.  
SAN has made shared storage trivial and even allows you to spread the 
nodes in the cluster geographically. When I first encountered HA cluster 
the shared storage was parallel SCSI with an initiator in each system.  
The first that aloowed you to spread the nodes enough to have them in 
different building used IBM's SSA, a predecessor of SAN, to connect the 

>> Jon
> Diane

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