New Compaq and IBM servers aimed at reducing downtime

Compaq Computer and IBM last week announced servers designed to reduce downtime in data centers and remote offices.

The Compaq ProLiant DL380 and ML370 servers are the first to include Compaq's Memory Protection Architecture, which basically provides spare memory if a server's memory fails. For its part, IBM introduced two new eServers aimed at small and midsized companies. The eServers have built-in management features that fall under the company's recently announced eLiza program, which is focused on preventing software errors. The IBM eServer x Series 232 and 342 are both based on Intel's new Pentium III processor, which runs at 1.13 GHz.

Jon Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata, says both companies' offerings help address users' needs to reduce downtime and the costs associated with maintaining servers in data centers and remote offices. Eunice says features like Compaq's Memory Protection Architecture and IBM's eLiza software initiative, which is designed to keep server-based software from crashing, can help reduce labor costs.

"These kinds of features have always been very common in higher end systems, but now they are filtering through to (lower-end systems)," Eunice said. "Basically, work has gone on with power supplies and disks, and now all the vendors are trying to find what else they can put more resiliency into."

Compaq and IBM also announced new server appliances. IBM has added new features to its eServer x130 and x135 server appliances including reprovisioning technology designed to allow network administrators to change content. Using IBM's Advanced Appliance Configuration tool, network administrators can duplicate the image of a server and copy it to another server, which makes it easier to set up or add a new server on the network. Pricing for IBM's new servers and server appliances are not yet available. Both the servers and appliances can run Windows and Linux operating systems.

Compaq's new TaskSmart server appliances are designed for Web hosting. The C4000 and W2200 both have features Compaq claims make them easy to set up and configure with a minimal amount of administration from an IT manager. The C4000 comes pre-configured with Inktomis' Traffic Server network cache software and Media IXT software to support different forms of content.

The TaskSmart C4000 pricing starts at US$7,199, while the W2200, a lower end box, starts at $1,799. Pricing for the ProLiant DL380 and ML370 is not yet available.

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