Dell is reaching out to small businesses worldwide with five new servers that it says perform better, consume less power and are easier to set up and manage than their predecessors.
The new servers -- Dell PowerEdge 1900, 860, 840, SC1430 and SC440 -- feature dual-core Intel Xeon processors, which allow them to run multiple applications like file serving, e-mail and databases.
They also come pre-installed with software like Microsoft's Small Business Server R2 and with management tools to simplify their operation and administration, Dell officials said during a conference call on Wednesday.
Small businesses typically lack the in-house IT resources of larger companies, so they prefer hardware that requires minimal tuning and maintenance.
"Small business owners want affordable technology products that are easy to deploy, manage and support," said Frank Muehleman, vice president of Dell's U.S. Small Business division.
There are about 6.2 million small businesses in the U.S. and they are expected to spend about US$98 billion in IT products and services this year, said Laurie McCabe, an analyst with AMI Research who participated in the call. "They are increasingly relying on IT and the Internet to help them run and manage their businesses," she said.
Megan Duckett, owner of theatrical drapery manufacturer Sew What in Los Angeles, beta tested the PowerEdge 860 and found it to be "impressive in performance" and "very reliable" in supporting the company's 11-PC network, she said during the call. She plans to use it to host her company's Web site in house.
The new servers, which are available worldwide, are also aimed at remote offices of large companies.
The PowerEdge 1900 is a dual-socket tower server featuring dual-core Intel Xeon 5100 series processors, and is optimized for database, messaging, file and print sharing and remote location deployments, said Jay Parker, director of Dell's PowerEdge servers. It starts at US$1,399.
He described the PowerEdge 840 as a "general-purpose tower server" with Intel Xeon 3000 series processors. It is designed for remote offices, retail stores and small businesses, and starts at US$749. The PowerEdge 860 is a 1U rack-mountable server with dual-core Intel Xeon 3000 series processors. Starting at US$949, it is intended for edge-of-the-network, infrastructure or Web applications.
The PowerEdge SC440 is an entry-level tower server with dual-core Intel Xeon 3000 series processors, and can be used for file and print sharing in a small business setting or in a small workgroup, as well as for e-mail, Web or standard applications. It starts at US$599. Finally, the PowerEdge SC1430, starting at US$1,049, features dual-core Intel Xeon 5100 series processors and is ideal for file and print sharing, e-mail messaging and small Web server applications.
Every server ships with the Dell Server Assistant, a CD-ROM for setting up and configuring the PowerEdge system components and software.
More information is available at Dell's Web site.
Dell has been in a slump for months. Its financial results for the first six months of the year have been disappointing. It had to recall millions of defective laptop batteries because they can overheat and catch fire. Moreover, it is being investigated by both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for possible accounting and financial reporting irregularities.