RealTime IT News

Gateway Expands Entry-Level Server Line

In a move to further its advance on its entry-level server competitors, Gateway today announced a new rack-mountable and a new tower server designed to function as a small business server or as an edge server for larger companies.

"We are attacking the entry-level market," said Scott Weinbrandt, senior vice president at Gateway. Actually, the attack has been well under way as over the past year Gateway has taken an aggressive tack in trying to rip market share away from other server vendors, particularly Dell, by offering what the company has described as disruptive pricing. (Weinbrandt brings some first-hand knowledge of his opponent, having spent 10 years at Dell before joining Gateway.)

Both the rack-mountable 9115 and the tower 9210 servers are single-processor units that support 800MHz Intel Celeron or Pentium 4 CPUs. In addition to being a good fit for a small business buying its first server, Weinbrandt said, the 9115 and the 9210 also are well-suited for duty as e-mail, print, Web, cache or other edge-of-network servers for businesses with up to 1,000 users. However, Weinbrandt said that the servers aren't designed for mission-critical, transaction-processing applications.

While Gateway's name may be in the news these days for its falling stock price and the closure of its Gateway stores, the company's server strategy is on track, according to Lloyd Cohen, director, Worldwide Market Analysis, Global Enterprise Server Solutions Group at IDC. "Their PC business appears to be in turmoil, but that's not the case for servers. Gateway's server business is stable. It's important to separate the two [the PC business and the server business]. Otherwise it could seem like a negative story and it's not a negative story. They have made advancements."

Cohen said the Gateway is definitely going after Dell with its entry-level servers, although they are doing so with fewer models. While he said wasn't sure whether or not the more streamline product offering is an advantage, Gateway clearly sees if that way. Weinbrandt described Dell's offering as "confusing" for small businesses.

The Gateway 9115 is 1U form factor server that is priced at $899 and the 9210 comes in a tower configuration is priced at $499. Both ship standard with a Celeron processor (a Pentium 4 version is available), two integrated network ports (one Gigabit port and one 10/100 port), 80GB SATA drive (the 9210 features two drives), up to 4 GB of DDR400 ECC memory and RAID 0/1 on the motherboard. The servers support Windows Server 2003 Enterprise, Standard, Web and Small Business Server Editions. Additional SATA or SCSI drives are also available.

So at a time when Gateway is dealing with some negative news, its server line may be a needed bright spot. "Gateway isn't selling hundreds of thousands of servers a quarter. They are selling 3,000 to 4,000 a quarter. They are moving in the right direction," IDC's Cohen said.

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel and EarthWeb's Networking & Communications Channel.

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