NEC Brings Fault-Tolerant, PIII Server to U.S.

NEC Computers Inc. this week said it is bringing its fault-tolerant Intel-based server to North America.

The Express5800/320La server is the first product in the Boxboro, Mass., companys Express5800/ft series that it will sell in the United States. The company already has been selling it in Japan.

The series is based on Intel Corp.s Pentium III chips and runs on Microsoft Corp.s Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating system.

The server uses designs from Stratus Technologies Inc. to create backup components that mirror the primary components in "true redundant lockstep," said Mike Mitsch, NECs director of enterprise products. If the primary server fails, the backup server can take over without an interruption of service or loss of data, Mitsch said.

"Availability is the top criteria when people consider server products," he said. "The market is looking for something like this."

The server includes multiple CPU processing modules, power supplies and hard disk drives running in an "active/active" mode, processing identical data at the same time as the primary components.

This contrasts the more expensive clustering technology typically deployed on high-availability systems, Mitsch said. Clustering can result in lost memory and corrupted data, he said.

While the Express5800/320La is available now through selected resellers, NEC expects to launch other fault-tolerant servers in the Express5800/ft series later this year and into 2002.

The current product is available for just under $20,000.