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Compaq serves up low prices

A fully-configured Pentium-Pro-based server in the ProLiant line will cost under $3,500.

    Compaq (CPQ) continues to aggressively price its entry-level servers, today introducing a fully-configured Pentium-Pro-based model in its ProLiant line for under $3,500.

    Compaq says the ProLiant 800 is suited for use as a file and print server, as an email server, and with Internet or intranet applications. These so-called "workgroup" servers are often used for small-scale in-house database applications, according to John Young, director of systems platform marketing at Compaq.

    The 800 servers are designed to be located "remotely," or separate from the main information systems location, throughout companies and therefore require a high level of remote management capability as well as an easy set-up procedure, said Young.

    The ProLiant 800 will ship with many of the same "availability"--back-up and fault-tolerant--features as the other models in the ProLiant line, the company says.

    The system also ships with Compaq's Insight Manager, which provides server and client management monitoring, and SmartStart, which optimizes the configuration of the server and simplifies server setup.

    The ProLiant 800 comes standard with a 180-MHz Pentium Pro processor with 256 KB integrated level-2 cache. The atypical design of the Pentium Pro integrates the level-2 cache memory into the processor to improve performance in server applications.

    The 800 also comes with 32MB of high-quality Error Correction Code (ECC) memory, for improved reliability. Compaq says the new model is upgradeable to two 180-MHz or 200-MHz Pentium processors for increased performance. The ProLiant 800 also comes with a 10Base-T network interface card, an 8X CD-ROM, five peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slots and two standard 16-bit slots.

    As part of a policy now standard across the ProLiant line, including the 800 model, Compaq is shipping systems with Wide-Ultra SCSI controllers which increase data transfer rates up to 40-MB per second. By contrast, the original SCSI standard for interfacing between a computer and devices such as hard drives or printers allows for data transfer rates up to only 5 MB second; Fast SCSI can transfer data at a maximum of 10 MB per second.

    The ProLiant 800 will be priced at $2,778 without a hard disk drive and $3,488 with a 2 GB drive, according to the company. A dual-processor upgrade will be priced at $667 for the 180-MHz Pentium Pro and $889 for the 200-MHz version.

    Compaq also offers the Pentium-processor-based Prosignia line of servers for "small networks" at small companies.

    In related news, Compaq introduced a new entry-level model to the ProLiant 2500 family of servers which is aimed for use in database applications. The Proliant 2500 Model 6/180N is currently available and will be priced at $4,556, according to the company.

    Other news from Compaq includes the introduction of a new high-availability storage system called the ProLiant storage System/F. The tower or rack modules will house Fast-Ultra SCSI hard drives in 2.1GB, 4.3GB and 9.1GB capacities. A 1024 MB memory expansion kit has been made available for ProLiant 5000 servers and a new tower uninterruptible power supply was also introduced.