Acer Intros AC100 Microserver for SMBs

Acer adds to its growing lineup of server and storage hardware targeting small and midsize businesses as well as government agencies.

Acer is rolling out an Intel-based microserver aimed at small businesses, the latest in a growing portfolio of server and storage hardware for everything from small home offices to midsize companies.

Acer officials on April 23 unveiled the AC100 microserver, which was already released overseas and now is available in the U.S. market. The system is designed to offer SMBs server-class features in a compact, easy-to-configure form factor that needs little, if any, IT intervention, according to Michael O€™Beirne, senior director of commercial product marketing for Acer.

€œWe€™re committed to helping organizations succeed by providing systems that are easy to set up, use and maintain without taking up a lot of space,€ O€™Beirne said in a statement. €œThe AC100 provides plenty of power, security and expansion without requiring dedicated IT resources, which can be imperative for a small business.€

Acer officials a decade ago made noises about pushing into the U.S. server market, but the company made little, if any, dent in the highly competitive space. About three years ago, Acer€”on the strength of its expanding PC business€”began another effort to gain traction in the United States, rolling out a few servers powered by Intel chips. The next year, Acer lined up with such server stalwarts as Hewlett-Packard and Dell to roll out systems in support of Advanced Micro Devices€™ 12-core €œMagny-Cours€ Opteron server chips.

In February 2011, Acer unveiled a host of server and storage hardware offerings that were powered by x86 chips from both Intel and AMD.

In an email to eWEEK, an Acer spokesperson said the AC100 microserver is the latest system that offers server-class features in a compact form factor.

€œAcer is expanding its presence in the server and storage market in order to offer a full range of hardware solutions for professional channel partners and end-users from SOHO [small office/home office] businesses to medium enterprises as well as government and education institutions,€ the spokesperson wrote.

The AC100 is a micro-tower system that also gives small and midsize businesses (SMBs) a power-efficient solution, according to Acer officials. Armed with a federal Energy Star certification, the system also comes with a 200-watt Plus power supply, making the AC100 more than 80 percent energy-efficient at multiple loads, which officials said will reduce power use and electricity costs.

The server can be powered by an Intel Xeon E3-1200, Intel Core i3 or Pentium processors, and offers up to 8 terabytes of RAID storage and 16GB memory, aimed at offering data security and support for large workload storage. It also holds four 3.5-inch hot-pluggable hard-drive bays, six USB ports, one PCI-Express x8 slot, and video and eSATA ports.

The AC100 microserver also offers ECC memory for greater data security and an integrated Gigabit Ethernet controller. It can support a number of operating systems, including Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 Essentials.

The new Acer server is available now, and the version powered by the Intel Xeon E3-1260L starts at $999.