NEC Solutions America Inc. over the next six months will roll out two fault-tolerant, high-availability servers aimed at small and midsize businesses.
The systems will push forward NECs efforts to fill niches in the server market that larger vendors, such as Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc., have not significantly targeted, NEC officials said.
The forthcoming fault-tolerant systems, which havent yet been named, will give SMBs that want high availability an alternative to clustered environments, which give high availability but can be difficult to manage and can increase software licensing costs.
NEC already offers midrange fault-tolerant servers—the two-way Express 5800/320La for Linux and 320Lb for Windows. This fall, the Rancho Cordova, Calif., company will release a four-way system, followed early next year by a low-end two-way system, with prices around $10,000, according to Larry Sheffield, senior vice president of NECs Solutions Platform Group. In a fault-tolerant environment, high availability is achieved through redundant components rather than through multiple systems.
NEC finds itself in a situation similar to that of other companies, such as Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp.—subsidiaries of large, well-established global companies looking to attract new customers in the United States. Fujitsu, of Sunnyvale, Calif., this week unveiled the Primergy RXI300, a rack-optimized system equipped with two Intel Corp. Itanium processors.
Read more about Fujitsus Primergy RXI300.
Jean Bozman, an analyst with IDC, said NECs decision to focus on particular parts of the U.S. market makes sense.
"They have good technology, and there are many companies in the U.S. who benefit from using it," said Bozman in San Jose, Calif. "When it comes to general awareness, brand recognition is somewhat less."
Rather than competing with the leaders on a product-by-product basis, NEC wants to give customers expanded choices, Sheffield said.
"I want to bring different shades of products to the market," Sheffield said. "We havent done a good-enough job yet of communicating [that were] an alternative to customers."
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