Dell pitches new servers at SMEs

Dell Computer has released a pair of Intel-based servers aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

Dell Computer has released a pair of Intel-based servers aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

The PowerEdge 600SC and PowerEdge 2600, feature higher processor speeds and better input/output performance over the systems' Dell predecessors and over similar servers from competitors.

"These systems have the next generation bus architecture and processors from Intel that most of the vendors will come out with shortly," said Mark Melenovsky, research director at IDC. "Dell has hit that segment first with the new refresh of products."

The PowerEdge 600SC is a one-processor tower server aimed at small and medium businesses that uses either Intel's Celeron or Pentium 4 chips. The larger PowerEdge 2600 can house two Xeon processors and comes with several redundant components that make it more attractive to large companies, said Russ Ray, senior product manager for Dell PowerEdge servers.

The PowerEdge 600SC is available immediately with a Celeron processor running at 1.7GHz or with a Pentium 4 processor running at 1.8GHz or 2.4GHz, Ray said. The system uses the ServerWorks Inc. GC-SL Chipset with a 400MHz front side bus, which provides a nice jump over the 500SC's 133MHz front side bus with a Pentium III processor. The additional processing power and throughput boost overall system performance by a large margin over Dell's current 500SC server, Ray said.

The server will also ship with up to 4Gbytes of memory, five peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slots and four hard disk drives. Dell will offer both 120Gbyte Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) and 73Gbyte small computer system interface (SCSI) drives with PowerEdge 600SC in a redundant array of independent discs (RAID) configuration.

Dell has started selling the new PowerVault 100T Travan40 internal tape drive as an add-on to this server. The drive starts at $399 (£261) and offers up to 40Gbytes of capacity with software compression, Ray said.

The higher-end PowerEdge 2600 will ship with up to two Xeon processors running at 1.8GHz, 2GHz, 2.2GHz or 2.4GHz and with up to 6Gbytes of memory. The system houses up to 8 SCSI hard drives and comes with redundant, hot-plug power supplies and fans.

"This server fits into the upper end for small and medium sized businesses and is the starting point for many enterprises," Ray said. The server can handle file and print serving tasks as well as higher-end software like enterprise databases.

Both of the new servers hit the spot of Dell's business where it has been able to gain market share against competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM, Melenovsky said.

"These new products further their penetration in the small and medium business segment," Melenovsky said. "They really pegged this spot in 2001 when they saw the enterprise market collapsing."

The systems will ship with Microsoft's Windows 2000 server operating system or Red Hat's Linux distribution. The 600SC starts at $799 (£524) with the Pentium 4 processors, and the PowerEdge 2600 starts at $1,999 (£1,310).

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