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IBM reinvigorates servers

The company powers up existing systems and introduces an entry-level server for small business.

IBM (IBM) today announced a new entry-level server targeted at small businesses, as well as unveiling new versions of the IBM PC Server 310 and the IBM PC Server 704 systems.

The new PC Server 315, available with 180-MHz and 200-MHz Pentium Pro processors, is being promoted by IBM as a flexible, moderately priced option for entry-level needs. The system includes the Lotus Domino 4.5 server, a standard part of all IBM PC Server packages. The 315 will be available in early June, with prices starting at $2,300.

The other two models in IBM's PC Server line, the 310 and 704, have received a power boost. The low-end 310 will now be available in 200-MHz and 166-MHz Pentium systems. The 166-MHz model is being promoted by IBM as its most attractive entry-level server due to its low price. The revamped 310 line will start at $1,725 and be available later this month.

IBM's "flagship" PC Server 704 has received both a power upgrade and new features designed to make it more appealing to those users needing "high availability" systems--businesses that cannot afford any downtime of servers. With a starting price of $16,675, the 704 is targeted at large businesses.

The two new models of the 704 feature 200-MHz Pentium Pro processors and 512KB caches. Onboard memory has been upped to 256MB, with the capability to upgrade the systems to 2GB of RAM. The two new systems will be available to buyers by the end of May.

IBM also announced that it will in the future upgrade some of the PC Server models to use Intel's 233- and 266-MHz Pentium II processors when they become available.

The new high-availability model of the 704 includes three redundant hot-swap power supplies, any of which can be replaced without the server being shut down. The server also has a 3-channel PC ServeRaid Adapter, allowing it to support up to 45 storage devices with RAID-5 capability. This means users can add or remove disks or re-arrange disk arrays without stopping the server.