Servers with multiprocessors slim down to stack up

Servers with multiprocessors slim down to stack up

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

Servers are getting thinner, and they're packing multiprocessor units into their racks for maximum processing power in limited space.

Thin servers are only 1U to 4U (1.75 to 7 inches) high. A standard 42U, 73.5-inch cabinet can hold many of them. Some are designed as general-purpose servers, others as appliance servers for specific functions or as network-attached storage devices.

Here are some general- and special-purpose systems new to the government market:

• Dell Computer Corp. has product offerings in both the general-purpose and appliance categories.

The PowerEdge 2450, 2U or 3.5 inches high, holds one or two 667- to 866-MHz Pentium III processors. General Services Administration schedule pricing ranges from $3,556 to $4,049.

Dell also has announced a line of PowerApp appliance servers for dedicated Web hosting and Internet caching. The PowerApp.web 100 server has a 1U form factor, Dell vice president and general manager Gene Austin said.

The appliances come in Microsoft Windows and Linux flavors. The former features Windows Powered Web Server software, jointly created by Microsoft Corp. and Dell, and Microsoft Internet Information Server.

The Linux model of the PowerApp.web comes with Red Hat Linux from Red Hat Inc. of Durham, N.C., and open-source Apache Web Server software.

'The concept is that you turn PowerApp on, and 15 minutes later you're ready to host a Web site,' Austin said.

Dell's PowerApp.cache, a related product, comes in two form factors, a 1U caching device or a 2U high-redundancy platform, Austin said. Both use Novell Internet Caching Server software.

Starting price for a PowerApp.web unit with Linux software, a 600-MHz Pentium III processor, 64M of RAM and one 9G hard drive is $1,899. The price ranges up to $5,399 for a unit with a 700-MHz processor, 512M of RAM and two 18G hard drives.

• Advantech Technologies Inc. of San Diego makes the SPC-200, a 2U unit with dual 500-MHz Pentium III processors using the Intel 440GX chip set.

The SPC-200 accommodates five disks and up to 2G of synchronous dynamic RAM. Starting price is $2,000.

• VA Linux Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., offers two 1U and two 2U servers, all tuned for the Linux operating system.

The VA Linux 1150 squeezes into a 1U case a single 600- or 650-MHz Pentium III processor, 128M to 2G of RAM, and one or two front-accessible SCSI disk drives. It ranges from $2,373 to $8,253.

Its 1U cousin, the VA Linux 1000, holds single or dual Pentium III processors with up to 2G of memory at starting prices of $3,086 to $6,994.

The VA Linux 2130 server is the company's entry-level 2U model, with a single processor and up to 512M of memory. Starting prices range from $1,437 to $3,115.

The FullOn 2200 series of 2U servers from VA Linux can be configured with an internal RAID controller and security cover. Prices range from $2,099 to $14,315.

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