Compaq is set to provide a series of single-purpose servers, the Compaq TaskSmart family, the first of which is dedicated to Internet caching.
"The C-series doesn't have any extraneous components designed for multiple applications that burden the CPU. Instead it has a single purpose so is easy to set up and manage," said Mary Christ, director of marketing, server appliances for Compaq, who claims the server can simply be "dropped in" to any system.
Designed for simplicity, the cache server can be set up and running in 15 minutes, according to Christ. "A lot of the value add of this product is focused on the management issue. It's specifically made easy so a business can send it out to a remote site that doesn't have an IT department and be confident of correctly installing it," said Christ. "It's a headless system set up from a client server on the network. It has an easy gooey. All you have to do is give it an ISP address, put the floppy in and the system boots and configures itself."
The simplicity was mandatory, according to Compaq, because the TaskSmart C-Series had to operate in an Internet environment characterised by a lack of understanding of issues such as security and the sizes of applications. "The focus and expansion of e-business by a lot of companies is constrained by a very narrow pipeline in which they can deploy applications. People don't initially know how large they want their e-commerce activities to be. This is causing a huge backlog in people's systems," explained Christ.
Compaq claims the C-Series can alleviate this stress and accelerate the delivery of content over both internal and external networks. "It works by putting the content a user repeatedly uses as close as possible to that user by pushing the content down the pipeline from the original source," explained Christ.
For this reason Compaq is targeting ISPs and the new brand of purely Internet-based companies. "If you put a cache server in front of your system you'll get faster response times and it will free up the Web server which will then perform far more efficient offloads," said Christ, who believes that speed and bandwidth capabilities are huge competitive advantages in these markets.
The TaskSmart series of servers has also been developed with multiple platform interoperability capabilities. "The TaskSmart series has been designed around Internet standards. It doesn't matter what operating systems are being run."