FRAMINGHAM (03/02/2000) - Targeting large end users and Web server farm customers, Hewlett-Packard Co. last week introduced two six-processor servers for its NetServer family that pack more performance and use less space than traditional four-way servers.
To sweeten the package, HP will refund the cost - about $5,000 - of two processors when customers buy the six-processor NetServer LT 6000r or LH 6000 boxes between March and June. A typical configuration with the rebate costs about $25,000. For processor-hungry and cost-conscious corporate users, as well as service providers, HP is touting benchmark results that show the Pentium III Xeon-based rack-mount LT 6000r and stand-alone LH 6000 servers perform at 94 percent of a standard eight-way server for at least half the cost, which can be well over $50,000.
The new servers come with network and server management tools, as well as a PCI RAID controller that HP typically retails as a premium stand-alone option for about $2,000. Both also feature HP's Remote Assistant, which allows network managers to perform diagnostic and configuration tasks from any device with a browser using the server's IP address. An optional $500 remote control card extends those features, plus access to HP's TopTools server management software to any device on the LAN, letting network managers have roving access to servers.
HP needs to have offerings that specifically address the Internet and e-commerce markets to compete in those areas rather than taking a general approach, given the market's competitive atmosphere, says Esmerelda Silva, an analyst with research firm International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass. She notes that companies such as Dell have moved very aggressively to market products that are aimed directly at ISPs or end users with e-commerce sites.
Eye on space
Stephen Ippoliti, senior e-commerce strategist at Qwest Internet Solutions, says his company is eyeing the LT 6000r for use as a database server for online retail customers. Qwest offers a turnkey package for retailers that allows them to put their wares online in six to eight weeks using Qwest's Web site design and technical setup services.
"Space is money in our business, and we have to standardize on the servers we use, and the LT 6000r is cheaper than other four-ways and provides enhanced scalability with the same rack-space footprint," Ippoliti says.
The LH 6000 provides for up to six Intel Pentium III Xeon processors, 8G bytes of memory, eight 64-bit I/O slots, and up to 12 internal Ultra SCSI drives.
Customers who have purchased NetServer LH 3000 servers can upgrade to an LH 6000 by changing the CPU motherboard and adding an additional power supply.
The company will continue to sell the four-way LH 4000 to customers who want it. The LT 6000r has a similar set of features but is a rack-mount version.
The LT 6000r also allows for external storage for storage-area networks and clustering. Both also come standard with 10/100T X integrated network interface cards, and both will use the ServerWorks chipset.
IDC estimates that four-way server shipments will more than double over the next two years, growing from 258,000 in 2000 to 641,000 in 2002.