Server Options Expanded

Gateway, NEC, Fujitsu plan multiprocessing systems.

Enterprises will see their server options grow over the next few months as Gateway Inc., NEC Solutions America Inc. and Fujitsu PC Corp. each take the wraps off new and enhanced hardware.

Gateway in August will roll out a four-processor server, the fifth system the Poway, Calif., company will have launched since reviving its server business in February. The as-yet-unnamed computer is a rack-mount server equipped with Intel Corp.s Xeon MP chips. The Xeons, which run at up to 3.06GHz, feature Hyper-Threading technology to improve application performance by as much as 40 percent by enabling a single chip to work as two virtual chips.

Also in August, Gateway will roll out an external storage device and a DLT (digital linear tape) autoloader that can be used in any number of storage scenarios, officials said.

Gateway server user Dennis Linster said the companys move to a four-processor system makes sense. The larger servers may cost more than two-processor systems, but the cost difference is made up in the time saved managing them, said Linster, CIO at Wayne State College, in Wayne, Neb.

"If I can get two or three four-way servers and do what eight or nine servers can do on two processors, I will do it," said Linster. "It takes less time to manage them."

Separately, NEC, of Sacramento, Calif., will launch two fault-tolerant servers next quarter for midrange and high-end uses. The systems—the two-processor Express5800/330Lx and four-processor 340Lx—will build on NECs blade server technology, said officials at the CeBIT America trade show here last week. Both will also feature Xeon chips and Hyper-Threading. Officials said an Itanium-based, fault-tolerant server is scheduled for release in 2005.

In addition, NEC next week will refresh its 32-way Express5800/1000 line of Intel-based, high-availability servers with the chip makers new Itanium 2 6M processor, also due next week.

Meanwhile, Fujitsu, which recently completed a refresh of its entire Solaris-based PrimePower line, is looking to increase the profile of its Intel-based Primergy products.

In the fall, Fujitsu, of Santa Clara, Calif., will release a four-processor server based on the 64-bit Itanium 2 6M chip, officials said.

Later this summer, the company will roll out a dual-Xeon server, the RX200; an enhanced four-way server, the R450; and new blade servers.

John S. McCright contributed to this report.