Dell Preps E-Commerce Servers

FRAMINGHAM (04/17/2000) - Dell Computer Corp. plans to announce two four-way Pentium III Xeon servers this week aimed at enterprise customers and companies hosting e-commerce sites.

The PowerEdge 6400 and 6450 servers will begin shipping April 17 and cost from $7,194 to $65,834. The 6400 will replace the PowerEdge 6300, while the 6450 will replace the PowerEdge 6350. Both of those older servers will stop shipping in July.

The PowerEdge 6400 and 6450 servers are identical with the exception of their size and the number of internal disk drives they can accommodate. The 6400 can handle up to 10 internal disk drives and is 7u (12 inches) high, while the 6450 can handle up to four internal disk drives and is 4u (7 inches) high. Also, the 6450 comes only in a rack configuration. The 6450 is aimed at users who want a slim-form factor to help curb space-related costs, such as those incurred in a collocation situation. ISPs also have high space costs and may want to take advantage of the slimmer server.

The 6400 comes in rack-and-tower configurations and will have integrated Pro100 network interface cards (NIC) from Intel. As a new feature, Dell will offer dual NICs for failover, load balancing and redundancy. The 6300 did not have embedded NICs. Dell will also support and offer Alteon WebSystem's new Gigabit Copper NICs for both the 6400 and the 6450.

Both the 6400 and the 6450 will initially ship with the 550-MHz Pentium III Xeon processors, but Dell will begin offering the 700-MHz and 800-MHz Pentium III Xeons, code-named Cascade, by the end of May.

The new servers will be the first four-ways from Dell to incorporate the ServerWorks chipset and chip kill. Chip kill uses custom Application Specific Integrated Circuits and maps bit pairs to different places on the chip to allow for correction of two-bit errors, as opposed to correction with standard error checking and correcting memory, which is limited to a single bit. Both servers support up to 8G bytes of SDRAM.

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