NEW YORK—Gateway Inc. this summer will release a new four-way server and storage devices as it continues to try and be a larger player in the enterprise space.
The server, which has yet to be named and is due out in August, will be the fifth system rolled out by the Poway, Calif., company since it revived its server business in February, Scott Weinbrandt, general manager of Gateways Systems and Networking Products Group, said in an interview here Wednesday.
The 4U (seven-inch-high) server will feature Intel Corp. Xeon chips ranging in speed from 2GHz to 3.06GHz, a 533MHz front-side bus and 512K of Level 2 cache. The system also will come with Intels Hyper-Threading technology, designed to improve application performance by enabling a single chip to work as two virtual chips.
Other features will include six PCI slots, up to 4GB of PC2100 ECC DDR memory and eight hot-swappable Ultra 320 SCSI hard drives ranging in size from 36GB to 146GB. Integrated 1/00/1000 Ethernet also will be included.
The server will join two tower and two rack-mount servers that Gateway has rolled out in recent months. Weinbrandt said Gateway will not grow its servers beyond four processors, although the company is investigating the possibility of systems running Intels 64-bit Itanium chip.
Also in August, Gateway will roll out an external storage device and a DLT autoloader. Weinbrandt, speaking in a hotel room near the CeBIT America show at the Javitz Center, said that Gateway is working with a partner to build the devices, but declined to say who it was.
The devices will be unique in that they wont be limited to use in any one storage paradigm but could be used in any number of storage scenarios, Weinbrandt said.
“These devices will be multi-functional,” he said. “You can use them as a JBOD, a NAS appliance, a SAN appliance…”
Another way that Gateway is looking to differentiate its products is by providing a universal rack that is engineered to accommodate rack-mount servers from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. He said that those companies build their 19-inch racks with minor physical differences that make it impossible to mount servers from a competitor. Gateway will also offer its servers with rails that fit into HP or Dell proprietary racks, he said.
These moves are part of a strategy outlined by Gateway to make itself a stronger presence in the enterprise. Chairman and CEO Ted Waitt wants to move the company away from being simply a PC maker to being a company that can offer customers a wide range of Gateway-branded products, from servers to mobile devices to services. Gateway is trying to make a mark in a highly-competitive $9 billion server space that is populated by such top-tier companies as Dell, IBM and HP. Weinbrandt said the company plans to separate itself from the others by offering better services, support and relationship management.
That includes such services as having engineer-level support on initial help calls and offering service options such as a two-hour response time, he said.
“Hardware is not a differentiating product in this business,” Weinbrandt said. “What brings us to the table is, one, our name, we are a tier-one vendor and we have experience in notebooks and PCs.”
The company is focusing on small and mid-sized businesses, government and institutional agencies and the lower-end of large corporate companies. Gateway estimates it will ship 1.8 million server units in 2003, with growth targets of 3.1 million units by 2007. Weinbrandt said Gateways installed base of PC and notebook users can help give the company entrée into the enterprise, but at the same time, being a server vendor will help the company sell more desktop and mobile products.
Another avenue for building Gateways enterprise business will be its 192 Gateway Country stores, which Ted Ladd, a spokesman for the companys business products group, said are undergoing a complete redesign. The renovations will be completed by the end of the year, with the stores—which have been primarily targeting consumers—offering space for small business products, including servers, Ladd said.