One of the models, the NetFrame MV5000, incorporates Intel's I20 server architecture, which is being adopted by all the major computer vendors, including heavyweights such as Compaq, Dell Computer, and IBM.
Micron, a Boise, Idaho-based manufacturer, has been known for its high-end desktops and notebooks, which it sells directly to individuals and small businesses. But last summer's purchase of server manufacturer NetFrame has catapulted the company into the server computer business.
To date, Netframe's offerings have been high-end, or enterprise-class, server machines. Today's offerings round Micron's product lineup by targeting the midrange and lower end, or workgroup class, of the server market segment.
By adopting Intelligent Input/Output (I20) architecture, the NetFrame MV5000 capitalizes on a new and inexpensive way to boost performance. Using Intel's i960 chip, I2O creates a separate processor to handle so-called input/output (I/O) data transfers in server computers, which frees up the main Intel processor from high-overhead, administrative data-handling tasks. The chip is comparatively cheap and thus adds little to the bottom line costs of manufacturers.
A standard configuration for the mid-range NetFrame MV5000 includes a 300-MHz Pentium II processor, 512K Level 2 cache, 64MB of ECC RAM, a 4GB hard drive, and Windows NT 4.0 installed. Available immediately, the server is priced at $6,199. A second Pentium II processor can also be added.
The low-end LV 2000 with a 233-MHz Pentium II, 32MB of memory, a 2GB hard disk, and NT 4.0 is $3,499. It too is capable of a dual-Pentium II configuration.