New servers, storage on tap from NEC

Three new products emerged from NEC Computers on Tuesday, as the company expanded its fault-tolerant server offerings, released a new mid-range server, and provided users with some extra storage room.

NEC announced the Express5800/320La, a two-way fault-tolerant server designed for enterprise users, and the Express5800/120Lf, a workgroup/departmental server based on Intel's Pentium III processor technology. Also released was the NEC ft DEU (disk expansion unit), an external, rack-mountable storage device. All three products are immediately available in North America, while worldwide availability will be announced by the end of this year or early next year, a spokesman for NEC said.

The Express5800/320La is the second fault-tolerant server from NEC, which unveiled a one-way server with the same product name in September. Fault-tolerant technology uses built-in redundancies to preserve mission-critical data in the event of a power failure or hardware problem, eliminating downtime, according to NEC.

The Express5800/320La is available for $US24,653 with 512MB of RAM, a 18GB high-density disk drive, and Microsoft's Windows 2000 Advanced Server pre-loaded. The server is available in an 8U (4.45cm) rack-mount version for an additional $US400.

The second server released, the Express5800/120Lf, is another two-way server, which features 73GB of internal storage, dual on-board Ethernet, support for up to 6 PCI (peripheral component interconnect) I/O options, and on-board system management logic without add-in cards, NEC said.

The company touted the server as having the widest range of features of two-way department/workgroup servers in its class and price range. For example, the server can handle everything from simple file and print tasks to a departmental system with e-mail, network access, and database applications, NEC claimed.

The Express5800/210Lf is available now through value-added resellers in North America for a starting price of $US2999, which includes several NEC configuration and management software products, the company said.

NEC claimed the release of the NEC ft DEU makes it the first fault-tolerant server manufacturer to provide external storage capacity for Intel-based fault-tolerant servers. The DEU contains 13 hot-swappable disk drives -- adding up to 468GB of storage capacity to NEC's fault-tolerant servers -- and requires 6U of rack space. The DEU employs Veritas Software's Volume Manager software to allow the hard disks to be mirrored during data transfer, and is available now for $US11,999.