Hewlett-Packard announces entry-level Unix servers

Hewlett-Packard announces entry-level Unix servers

Hewlett-Packard has launched a new line of entry-level Unix servers, the Piranha A-Class, as part of a broader effort to earn the vendor a bigger slice of the estimated $US10.8 billion worldwide market for such computer systems.

HP has also unveiled a new program called Servers on Demand, which will allow customers to install the new servers at their premises and not pay for them until they actually switch them on, according to HP officials.

The new servers are designed to help HP gain market share from Sun Microsystems, which led the entry-level server market in 1999 in terms of unit shipments, according to HP systems marketing manager, Subroto Das.

"We haven't been very successful in addressing the developer market until now; that is generally equated with Sun," Das said at the product's worldwide launch in Sydney last week. "The A class is the first out of the box wireless application protocol (WAP) Unix system server and it is the best entry-level server in the industry."

Dubbed the HP9000 A400 and A500, the new servers are aimed at service providers, Internet startups and large businesses, HP said. The A400 starts at $12,000 and will ship late September. The A500 includes two processors, 8GB of RAM and four I/O slots and will be available at the end of October.

The servers are available with either HP's HP-UX 11 or the Linux operating system.

The two servers are rack-mountable and come bundled with a handful of key Internet software applications including Nokia's WAP server software, Infoseek's search engine and load-balancing software from Resonate.

The company is also committed to a six-hour repair time and providing Linux support directly from HP, Das said.

The vendor's Server on Demand program aims to help companies deal with the unpredictable demand for server capacity.

HP also forecasts a new financing option aimed at startups that expect to grow quickly. The Garage Program aims to help companies with their startup costs, configuration, solution development, joint marketing and integration.

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