HP Unveils New Low-end Servers

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has introduced a new family of entry-level Unix servers that showcase a set of new technologies and applications, which the company said greatly complement its e-services strategy.

The new HP 9000 L-Class L1000 and L2000 server architectures are targeted at ISPs (Internet service providers), ASPs (application service providers), and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), said Tom Anderson, product manager, Internet and applications, systems division, HP.

HP is "solidly committed" to the entry-level market which it sees as an important and huge segment to tap into, Anderson noted.

"And when you penetrate this market, these customers are also more likely stay with you as they grow their business," he added.

The new L1000 and L2000 Unix servers are the first platforms to support HP's new brokering language technology, e-Speak, that allows businesses to rent applications on a pay-as-you-use basis. Instead of customers trolling the Internet for products or services, e-Speak does it for them.

The servers are also HP's first products to support Nokia's WAP Server software, the result of a recent partnership between the two companies to provide corporate users with wireless access to e-mail and other data.

Both armed with PA-RISC 8500, the L1000 offers 1 to 2-way processing and 4GB memory, while the L2000 provides 1 to 4-way processing and 8GB memory. Both boxes are also IA-64-ready.

And unlike its competitors' products, users of the new L-Class servers can enjoy investment protection with "in-box upgrade", where they can, for example, enhance the servers by adding more CPUs rather than having to trade in their entire boxes for new ones, said Anderson.

HP has high hopes that the new servers will further strengthen its overall Unix server marketshare, which it currently leads in Asia-Pacific, he said.

But while the company fronts the Unix server market in the region, it is behind IBM in the overall server market.

According to market analyst International Data Corporation, unit shipment for the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) server market grew 47 per cent to reach US$1.1 billion in the second quarter of 1999 over the same period last year. The growth was boosted by a recovering Asian economy, Year 2000-related outlays, and rising Internet use, said IDC.

Demand for entry-level servers priced below US$100,000 was especially brisk, up 59 percent over the second quarter of 1998, IDC also noted. IBM, HP, Compaq Computer, and Sun Microsystems accounted for 80 per cent of total server sales, where IBM was the clear leader with an over 30 per cent marketshare.

But HP remains unfazed by IBM's overall market leadership.

"I think you have to look at the Unix market as a separate market because the overall server market includes mainframes from IBM, a segment which we don't play in," said David Noble, press relations manager, enterprise computing, HP Asia-Pacific.

Available for shipment from 18 October 1999, the L1000 server is priced at S$45,000 (US$26,000), while the L2000 is priced at $50,000.

HP is at www.hp.com/.

SIDE-BAR

HP, Nokia partner on WAP services

Hewlett-Packard and Nokia have announced plans to jointly develop services that will provide users within large corporations with wireless access to e-mail and other data.

The two partners aim to deliver integrated systems based on the emerging WAP (wireless application protocol) standard for mobile data access, that will allow users to remotely access data from a range of mobile devices, the companies said in a statement.

As part of the partnership agreement, Nokia said that its WAP Server software will be available on both HP-UX, HP's version of the Unix operating system, and Microsoft's Windows NT. HP will resell the Nokia WAP Server software for both operating systems worldwide.

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