New servers, storage on tap from NEC

Three new products emerged from NEC Computers Inc. Tuesday, as the company expanded its fault-tolerant server offerings, released a new midrange server, and provided users with some extra storage room.

NEC announced the Express5800/320La, a two-way fault-tolerant server designed for enterprise users, and the Express5800/120Lf, a workgroup/departmental server based on Intel Corp.'s Pentium III processor technology. Also released was the NEC ft DEU (Disk Expansion Unit), an external, rack-mountable storage device. All three products are immediately available in North America, worldwide availability will be announced by the end of this year or early next year, said a spokesman for NEC.

The Express5800/320La is the second fault-tolerant server from NEC, which unveiled a one-way server with the same product name in September. Fault-tolerant technology uses built-in redundancies to preserve mission-critical data in the event of a power failure or hardware problem, eliminating downtime, according to NEC.

The Express5800/320La is available for US$24,653 or C$37,473 with 512M bytes of RAM, a 18G-byte high-density disk drive, and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000 Advanced Server preloaded. The server is available in an 8U (4.45 cm) rack-mount version for an additional US$400, or C$608.

The second server released, the Express5800/120Lf, is another two-way server which features 73G bytes of internal storage, dual on-board Ethernet, support for up to 6 PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) I/O options, and on-board system management logic without add-in cards, NEC said.

The company touted the server as having the widest range of features of two-way department/workgroup servers in its class and price range. For example, the server can handle everything from simple file and print tasks to a departmental system with e-mail, network access, and database applications, said the company.

The Express5800/210Lf is available now through value-added resellers in North America for a starting price of US$2,999, which includes several NEC configuration and management software products, the company said.

NEC also released the NEC ft DEU, which the company says makes it the first fault-tolerant server manufacturer to provide external storage capacity for Intel-based fault-tolerant servers. The DEU contains 13 hot-swappable disk drives -- adding up to 468G bytes of storage capacity to NEC's fault-tolerant servers -- and requires 6U of rack space. The DEU employs Veritas Software Corp.'s Volume Manager software to allow the hard disks to be mirrored during data transfer, and is available now for US$11,999, or C$18.238.

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