Optima debuts new servers, holds back Opteron

Optima debuts new servers, holds back Opteron

Local whitebox giant Optima has taken the wraps off five new Intel systems and is prepared to add AMD Opteron-based servers to its catalogue if only the market demanded them, according to server product manager Ole Mortensen.

"We have an Opteron system in testing but our core market hasn't been asking for it," Mortensen said. "So we're waiting for the market."

Optima sees the core market for servers as government and education, with its channel partners going after the wider enterprise space.

Mortensen said Opteron has some attractive features such as more memory bandwidth and cooler operating temperatures.

"Opteron would suit the rack-mounted server space but the buyers are conservative," he said. "If AMD could create a market for Opteron that would be good."

The new series supports dual Xeon CPUs up to 3.6GHz, an 800MHz front-side bus, EMT64 technology, and either Serial ATA or SCSI disks for hot-swap functionality.

"We've extended our range from low-end systems to hot-swap SCSI," Mortensen said.

Prices start at $1999 for the tower model and $4099 for the rack-mounted units.

All Optima's servers are certified for Microsoft Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Novell NetWare.

Klaus Fett, managing director of Sydney-based AMD and Intel server manufacturer IPS Intelligent Systems, disagrees with Mortensen, saying the market for Opteron-based systems is alive and well.

"There are a lot of customers that like AMD's Opteron, which is powerful, 64-bit, and value for money," Fett said. "We supply what customers ask for and have shipped the same number of AMD systems as Intel."

Fett even claims to have sold four- and eight-way Opteron systems running Linux for enterprise database applications.

"There is more demand for Opteron than Xeon, which now has 64-bit," he said. "And Microsoft's 64-bit Windows Server will allow more people to move to AMD."

Although Fett sees his company as a "boutique" supplier that competes on quality rather than volume, he said IPS has shipped "lots and lots" of Opteron systems to government and education customers.

Fett said IPS normally fulfills server orders in the "ones and twos" and anything between 20 and 50 is large.

"Absolutely the market is there," he said. "AMD has outperformed Intel in many areas but I'm happy to supply either."

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