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Gateway Steps Up Low Cost Servers

Gateway is poised to unveil three new servers that improve a small organization's ability to run applications and database operations.

The machines, scheduled to be announced Tuesday, include the Gateway 9715 server, 9315 storage server and 9415 storage server. The Irvine, Calif., company is targeting small businesses, government agencies and even schools, according to Gateway senior manager Marc Tanguay.

The servers also continue Gateway's strategy of refreshing its existing server lines, replacing them with more scalable machines that run faster and feature more utilities.

The 9715 is 6U (1U=1.75 inches) server for 32-bit and 64-bit enterprise applications and database deployments requiring exceptional levels of data protection and availability. Gateway is pricing the server at $3,999, or roughly the cost of the average 4U server.

Tanguay said the 9715 is a rack server capable of fueling database applications, server and storage consolidations. It may also be used as a blade alternative with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or VMware virtualization applications.

The machine runs four Intel Xeon MP processors and supports Windows Server software, Novell's Netware 6.5, Red Hat Linux Enterprise 3.0 and 3.0 EM64T, and SuSe Linux Enterprise 9.0 and 9.0 EM64T. It's also equipped with redundant, hot-swap power and fans, and hot-plug PCI slots and memory.

For storage, Tanguay said the 9315 runs both network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SAN) without two separate architectures. Priced at $2,197, the 9315 functions like NAS but has an external fibre channel connection, allowing it to connect to a SAN.

Tanguay said the machine is great for networking infrastructure, Web hosting and terminal software. This 1U server supports up to two Intel Xeon processors and allows up to 1.2 terabytes of internal data storage. The machine runs Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 software.

The 9415 is designed for deployments requiring "serious computing power, high availability and storage capability." The device was created with database or Web server applications in mind and can scale to heavy duty ERP and CRM applications.

Like the 9135, the 9415 acts as a NAS head, connecting fibre channels to SAN technology. This 1U rack server supports 64-bit Intel Xeon processors. It also bundles three hot-swap SCSI drive bays with RAID 5 and redundant power supplies.

The 9415 costs $2,098 and will store 900GB of storage. it also runs Windows Storage Server 2003 software.

Gateway has its hands full in trying to catch up to leaders HP or Dell in the x86 space, let alone IBM, Sun or Fujitsu. But the company is trying in the wake of the resignation of Founder Ted Waitt from the board of directors.

Like rival Dell, Gateway tends to pair server releases with storage products because it sees them as closely tied, according to Tanguay.

This is made easier because the company deals in low-cost commodity, or volume servers, which IDC said is enjoying excellent growth because of new scalability features and high demand for affordable machines. To that end, Gateway doesn't envision offering machines with more than four processors any time soon, if ever.

"For customers that want to run peak performance database or server consolidation, four processors gives them enough computing power without moving to the Itanium space, which can be more expensive and more specialized," Tanguay said.