Today's PC servers aren't simply PCs in bigger cases. Though usually built on the same production lines as a desktop computer, servers must meet higher standards such as less downtime and increased expandability. They are easier to maintain, run all common network operating systems and represent a lower cost of ownership than ever before.
According to AST, "the revolution that happened in the early PC days, where the desktop computer got better and cheaper in a rapid spiral of innovation, is happening now in the server marketplace and the user is the major benefactor".
The rapid acceptance of Windows NT 4.0 Server, the proliferation of WANs, intranets, and general Internet access have now vastly increased users' demands on corporate servers. Manufacturers are beginning to respond to this with multiple Pentium Pro processors and increased levels of fault tolerance.
Compucon Computers now includes a RAID server and redundant standby server configurations with its assembly of custom built workgroup servers.
For business critical applications, Compucon's new RAID 5 server offers data protection and security. Based on dual Intel Pentium Pro 200MHz processors, the RAID server can be configured with a minimum of 64Mb RAM, four hot-swappable 2Gb SCSI hard drives, redundant power supplies, and a 24x CD-ROM drive. The RRP of $18,000 includes a three-year on-site warranty and five-user licence for Windows NT Server.
For higher levels of protection, the wide range of server clustering software applications now available protect data and information services by mirroring complete servers within a LAN or WAN. Individual servers can be designated as backups to assume the functions of a failed server, ensuring continuous business operation.
To cater for the other end of the market, Compucon builds small workgroup servers. A typical example would feature an Intel Pentium 200MHz processor, 64Mb RAM, a 2Gb hard drive, and the usual inclusions of monitor, graphics card, network adapter, keyboard and mouse for an approximate RRP of $3750.
Compucon claims that resellers can usually expect to have their server order delivered within three working days, and the company's sales and engineering teams are available to assist with configuration advice. Interested resellers can find out more about Compucon's workgroup and enterprise servers online at www.compucon.com. Alternatively, contact Phillip Tran at:
Tel (02) 9417 7166 Ext.27
Fax (02) 9417 7329
Digital Prioris Range
Prioris Xle and XL. The Prioris Xle and XL 6000 series is designed for small networks. Entry level performance and an integrated network-ready design is available from the Prioris Xle, while the XL 6000 provides "big business productivity on a small business budget".
The tower enclosure has a Pentium Pro 1800MHz or 200MHz processor with a system memory of up to 512Mb buffered ECC DIMMS. Internal expansion is accommodated by five slots and seven or nine bays. The drive controllers have PCI fast/wide SCSI or RAID control options and both units have a three-year on-site parts and labour warranty, with upgrades available. There is an optional kit for remote management of PC servers via modem or serial line.
The RRP (ex tax) of the Xle is from $2995 and from $3995 for the XL.
Prioris MX. Designed for robust departmental networking, the Prioris MX 6000 is enclosed in a large tower with a Pentium Pro 200MHz single or dual SMP processor. There is up to 1Gb ECC memory with 256K on chip cache per processor. The drive controllers and warranty provisions and remote server management facility are the same as for the Xle and XL.
The RRP (ex tax) for the Prioris MX is from $5995.
Prioris HX. This server provides fault tolerant sub-systems, redundant components, high capacity and scalability. Its throughput for storage and networking is certified for all major operating system environments, and Digital's three-year on-site warranty applies.
Enclosed in a wide tower, the HX has either one or two Pentium Pro 6200 MP processors.
There is up to 1Gb ECC memory with 512K cache memory on-chip per CPU. The standard PCI Ultra fast/wide SCSI drive controller has PCI fast/wide SCSI and RAID control options. For server management, ServerWORKS Manager is standard with an optional kit available for remote management of PC servers via modem or serial line.
The RRP (ex tax) of the Prioris HX starts at $9500.
Prioris ZX. This is a high-end application server providing protection through scalability of processor, memory and storage and is designed for medium to large business and government buyers. The ZX is backed by Digital's three-year on-site warranty.
The wide tower has one to four Pentium Pro 6200 MP processors. The server provides up to 4Gb ECC memory with a cache memory of 512K on-chip per CPU. Expansion is available through 12 slots and 11 bays. The drive controllers, operating systems, server management and optional remote server management are the same as for the HX.
The RRP (ex tax) of the Prioris ZX starts at $13,595.
Digital PC Servers are carried by a number of distributors. One of these is i.t.connXions, which provides a technical support team for VARs to assist with configuration and problem solving and the integration of these products into solutions.
The Australian reseller base is serviced through the head office in Sydney and a network of local offices located in Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
Interested resellers can phone the National Sales Hotline or visit their web site at www.itx.net.au.
Digital's National Sales Hotline
Tel 1300 362 525
Acer uses Pentium II Processor
Last month Acer announced the availability of the new Pentium II processor-based AcerAltos 900 server series and AcerPower 6200 workstation series.
AcerAltos 900. This series provides a workgroup, intranet/Web and communications server which also features the new Acer ServerProtect - "the industry-first virus firewall".
Designed for workgroups of between 10 and 50 users, the AcerAltos 900 series with the Pentium II processor at 233MHz and 266MHz uses techniques such as multiple branch prediction, super scalar instruction cycle, and out-of-order execution.
This server also incorporates a new motherboard which features 10/100Mbit/ sec auto-sensing Ethernet on-board, and an on-board Adaptec 7880 SCSI with Ultra SCSI of up to 40Mbit/sec transfer speed.
An EDO 64-bit DIMM memory subsystem provides maximum I/O bandwidth and a memory expansion capacity of up to 512Mb. The memory system also supports ECC functionality for data integrity and memory error correction.
AcerPower 6200. The AcerPower 6200 is a Windows NT-ready workstation which incorporates the latest video and desktop management technology.
Packaged in a new mini-tower, the AcerPower 6200 uses a 64-bit Pentium II processor. It has an EDO RAM mem- ory expandable to 384Mb, a Matrox Millennium MGA video accelerator, the latest CD-ROM drive technology, and desktop Management Interface.
The AcerPower is designed for medium and large businesses, particularly those with multimedia and data-intensive applications such as CAD/CAM/CAE.
Standard features of the AcerPower 6200 are a 266MHz Pentium II processor, Windows NT 4.0 workstation, 32Mb EDO memory and 4.3Gb hard disk, starting at a RRP of $5299 (excluding monitor).
The AcerAltos 900 series and the AcerPower 6200 are available now and resellers can find out more by visiting Acer's web site.
AST Computer's Manhattan Series
Manhattan S. The AST Manhattan S Series is a platform for both traditional file and print requirements as well as application server environments. Designed for mid- to large-sized networks, the Manhattan S Series operates on Novell NetWare and IntranetWare as well as Microsoft Windows NT Server applications. They also come equipped with Intel LANDesk Server Manager software, providing the user with the ability to monitor the server.
The Manhattan S also features Automatic Server Recovery, which provides unattended system recovery for maximum uptime; 200MHz Intel Pentium Pro processor; dual processor capacity (MPS 1.4 compliant); self-paced training by CBT systems; Ultra/Wide SCSI and Intel EtherExpress PRO/100B network adapter card to enhance network throughput.
The RRP of the Manhattan S series starts at $10,137Manhattan D Series. Features of the Manhattan D series workgroup servers include a 200MHz Intel Pentium Pro processor with internal 256K second level cache and PCI, a 32-bit I/O bus, which supports all devices that are configured automatically by the system. All PCI expansion bus slots are bus-master capable.
The second-level, write-back cache which is integrated in the processor, provides faster memory access during normal operation, and "Flash BIOS" enables the system to be upgraded easily from a floppy disk.
The system security feature provides password protection. System power and reset can be secured by enabling system security. The keyboard can be removed before or after powerup without causing the system to report an error condition.
There is an 8x speed IDE CD-ROM drive, an integrated Adaptec 7880 PCI SCSI adapter, integrated Intel 82557 10/100 Ethernet, and a 3.5in, 1.44Mb floppy drive.
Software features include the AMI diagnostics program to assist in locating the source of hardware problems and Intel LANDesk Server Manager software which tracks vital statistics of Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT servers.
The RRP of the Manhattan D Series is $5043. Dicker Data is a distributor for AST and Compaq.
Tel 1800 688 586ÊFax 1800 688 486.
ALR feeds the Revolution with 6x6
The ALR Revolution 6x6 is claimed by the company to be "the first server to offer the power of up to six 200MHz Pentium Pro chips". Graeme Schultz, national sales manager for distributor ADECS (Aust-ralia) adds that, "this system overcomes the limitations of standard four-way clustering architectures to deliver the highest level of MP Spec compatible performance available today".
In addition to its six-way CPU bus-clustering technology, the ALR Revolution 6x6 has up to 300Gb of hot-swappable drive storage. Features of the Revolution 6x6 include: scalability of up to six Pentium Pro-based processors, embedded server management functions featuring Active Central Processor Recovery, two optional storage expander chassis, 12 expansion slots, an N+1 redundant power supply subsystem, six RAID-ready drive bays, 128Mb RAM expandable to 2Gb ECC RAM, and 4Gb DIMM with future memory technology. The RRP is from $34,850 for a tower model and $36,750 for a rackmount version.
The rest of the family. The ALR Revolution 6x6 joins the ALR Revolution 6 series of double-wide Pentium Pro chip-based servers. The series includes the ALR Revolution Quad6, winner of the UnixReview and InfoWorld's 1996 Product of the Year awards, and the Revolution Dual6. For installations with limited space, ALR also offers the dual processor, the ALR Revolution MP Pro. The lower cost Revolution MP II with two Pentium processors is described by the company as being "suitable for network installations that only require Pentium technology".
In conjunction with Intel's announcement of the new Pentium II CPU, ALR announced the new ALR Revolution 2X Pentium Pro and Pentium II Server. The server is a Mini Tower which supports dual processor Pentium Pro and Pentium II and there is an option to convert the 2X to Rack-Mount via a Rack Mountable conversion kit. Standard features of the server include ALR InforManager integrated hardware and software server management, plus ALR ActiveCPR automatic processor protection and CPU fail-over for Dual Processor Systems and ALR Server Watchdog auto-recovery system.
ALR Revolution Rack-Mount systems provide Centralised Network Computing because up to four of ALR's Revolution Dual6, Quad6, or 6x6 servers will fit into a few square feet of floor space. The racks are available in two sizes, 24 and 44U, and can be equipped with a variety of server accessories. To improve data storage and fault tolerance, ALR offers a number of optional storage drawers as well as a number of RAID options, and DAT backup offers cost-effective data archival capabilities. The units all feature redundant power supplies, which provides extra reliability. For extreme fault tolerance, each rack can be equipped with a UPS.
ADECS (Australia) is the ALR distributor for Australia and according to ADECS' Schultz, "an emphasis on resellers has always been a part of ALR's strategy".
RRPs for ALR's Revolution series begin at $3450 for the MP II+; $4950 for the 2X Pentium II; $6650 for the MP Pro; $14,950 for the Rack Mount Dual6; $13,950 for the Quad6; $19,950 for the Rack Mount Quad6; $29,950 for the 6x6; and $32,950 for the Rack Mount 6x6.
Tel (02) 9427 8000ÊFax (02) 9427 8050
More muscle and memory from IBM
IBM has increased processing power and memory in its PC Server 704 and 310 to address the needs of companies with expanding networks.
IBM PC Server 704. The 704 will be the first IBM system to be certified for Microsoft Wolfpack. Designed for medium-and large-sized companies, it supports up to four 200MHz Pentium Pro processors and has had its standard memory increased to 256Mb. It can be expanded to 2Gb to accommodate more demanding applications.
In addition a new RAID adapter, the IBM ServeRaid adapter, provides Ultra SCSI and can support up to 45 devices over three channels. The new 9.1Gb hard disk drive allows the 704 to support up to 108Gb of internal hot swap storage.
With four ServeRaid adapters, a single IBM PC Server can support 1.6 terabytes of disk using both internal and external enclosures.
The 704 is backed by IBM's three-year on-site limited warranty, up-to-date compatibility information, ServerGuide CD-ROM library included with the server, world wide web and company Bulletin Board support.
The IBM PC Server 704 is available now at an ESP of $36,740.
IBM Server 310. The IBM PC Server 310 has been enhanced with a 200MHz Pentium processor.
All models of the IBM PC Server 310 are provided with ECC memory and SCSI disk subsystems, for increased performance, ease of configuration and reliability. The 310 supports up to 160Mb of ECC memory and 18.12Gb disk.
Standard with all IBM PC servers is Lotus Domino 4.5 Server at no cost.
Additional features of the 310 include five drive bays, together supporting up to 22Gb of data storage; a 250-watt power supply with auto restart to support maximum configurations and reduce disruption during short power outages; and seven adapter card slots to provide industry-standard expansion.
The ESP of the IBM PC Server 310 is $3599.
Optional extras. To complement the PC server upgrades, IBM has announced optional enhancements which include: two new high-density wide Ultra SCSI hot-swap disk drives designed to accommodate disk-intensive applications such as database and file server installations; a new rack storage solution for affordable, high-availability data storage; a new version of IBM NetFinity, a comprehensive system management tool; and ServerGuide 3.1, a CD-based software tool to facilitate installation (available at the end of July).
The ESP of the IBM PC Server 4.51Gb and 9.1Gb Wide Ultra SCSI Hot-Swap Hard Disk Drives will begin at $2145 and $3452 respectively.
The ESP of the IBM PC Server 3519 Rack Storage Enclosure units is $2570.
Tel 13 2426
HP brings high performance to enterprisesDesigned for enterprise environment use in a rackmount form, the new HP NetServer LXr Pro and its accompanying mass storage solution, the HP NetServer Rack Storage/8, is claimed to bring "increased flexi- bility, availability, and efficiency to business-critical enterprise environments". Sharing the capabilities of the HP NetServer Pro family, the LXr Pro is packaged in a modular rack cabinet. The Rack Storage/8 adds high-capacity, rack-optimised external storage. Both server and storage modules have been designed by HP to offer greater density, fault-tolerance, and manageability features than "competitive offerings".
The EIA-standard 19in-wide frame holds up to five servers or 13 storage modules - with eight disks each - to maximise floor space. The modular design is flexible and allows servers and storage modules to be mixed and matched with other accessories in any combination. There is redundant, hot-swappable power and redundant cooling in servers and drives to ensure high availability. Protection is supplied by RAID 0, 1, 3 and 5 support, while RAID 10, 30, and 50 are also supported with the HP NetRaid controller. Built-in management tools assist with setup and day-to-day administration.
The HP NetServer LXr Pro has a 200MHz Intel Pentium Pro processor with incremental 1-4 way multiprocessing. Memory is 128/512Mb ECC expandable to 4Gb and it has 512K cache.
The system architecture has an HP 64-bit bus, dual-peer PCI buses and integrated dual PCI SCSI controllers. There is an HP NetRAID three-channel PCI Disk Array Controller and up to 10 I/O slots. Each server supports up to 1.3Tbyte storage.
The HP NetServer Rack Storage/8 holds up to eight hot-swappable disk drives for a total capacity of 72.8Gb per storage enclosure, 946Gb per rack.
ESP of the LXr Pro series is from $26,962.
The rest of the family. HP has a wide range of servers for the whole range of business applications. Workgroup servers include the E Series and the LC. Optimised file servers include the LH Plus/Pro, and the range of more powerful application servers includes the LS for business critical applications and the LX Pro for enterprise "superservers".
HP resellers sell the Support Pack Service as an extra with HP Servers. The Support Pack upgrades the support time on the standard warranty and can be referred to as "warranty enhancement". Resellers who would like to find out more about HP's Support Pack service can call:
HP's Support Information Desk
Tel 13 2247, voice option 3.
Network CD-ROM servers from Meridian DataMeridian Data CD NetRom Subsystems provide multiple CD-ROM drives for attachment to existing network file servers or dedicated CD-ROM servers. The CD towers may accommodate up to 16.8Gb each (28 drives), and multiple units may be connected to a single server to provide a maximum of 33.6Gb (56 drives) of online information per server.
Storage configurations consist of seven-bay, 14-bay or 28-bay models, all of which feature SCSI-II, Advanced SCSI Programming Interface, PCI, EISA or ISA. Host operating systems supported are NetWare, Windows NT, MS-DOS, OS/2 and Unix. There are a maximum of four controllers per host system with 56 (PCI or EISA host controller) or 28 (ISA host controller) CD-ROM drives per host system.
The RRP (ex tax) for CD NetROM Subsystems ranges from $2925 for seven bays through to $15,525 for 28 drives.
CD NetROM Remote. A CD-ROM networking subsystem specifically for Novell Netware, each unit provides direct Ethernet network connection for up to 14 CD-ROM drives per unit. The hardware is available as a freestanding tower system as well as an industrial-quality rack mount module. It is completely integrated and includes CD-ROM drives and single-vendor support from Meridian Data.
The "Plug-and-Play" installation means that there is no hardware to install in the network server and no down time, as well as no need to load software at user workstations.
CD NetROM Remote detects when a CD-ROM is inserted and automatically mounts it to the network as a native NetWare volume.
The included software also supports management of CD-ROM drives that are connected directly to the NetWare file server. Both locally-attached CD-ROM drives and CD-NetROM Remote drives are managed as a single storage system under NetWare.
The RRP (ex tax) for the CD Net Remote ranges from $5267 for seven bays, through to $9798 for 14 bays and $10,220 for Rack Mount 7.
Other products in Meridian's CD-ROM Server range include the CD Net Universal workgroup servers for departmental, small business, and school or library applications, CD Net Rack Mount Solutions for enterprise networks, and CD Net Ultimate Servers for enterprise networks or intensive-use environments such as networked multimedia applications. CD Net Ultimate Storage attaches to existing file servers and CD servers and provides high-speed hard disk drive performance for CD-based information.
A catalogue and reseller information kit is available from:
Tel (02) 9319 6411 (03) 9556 5809