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Dell revamps server line

Dell will inject new technology into an aging server line today with the introduction of a bevy of low-priced Pentium Pro processor-based systems.

Dell Computer (DELL) will inject new technology into an aging server line today with the introduction of a bevy of low-priced Pentium Pro processor-based systems.

The PowerEdge server line will for the first time get a sorely-needed upgrade to Pentium Pro processors and advanced technologies such as Ultra Wide SCSI-3 hard disk drive controllers.

Dell admits its server lineup has been languishing and in need of refreshing. In 1995, there were server projects that never saw the light of day because of sub-par designs, according to Terry Klein, vice president of the advanced systems group at Dell. Still, Dell's server business is growing, according to market research firm International Data Corporation. Today's introduction may give Dell good reason to hope for even stronger growth on the back of the new line.

The $3,799 PowerEdge 210 will come with a 180-MHz Pentium Pro processor with an integrated 256KB level 2 cache, 32MB of ECC memory, a 2GB hard disk, an 8X CD-ROM drive, 3Com 10/100 Ethernet card, and Windows NT 3.5.1.

A PowerEdge 2100 with a 200-MHz Pentium Pro processor and two 4GB hard drives and 128MB of ECC memory will ship for $6,499. Other features of the 2100 line include 3 PCI slots, 3 EISA slots, Intel's Server Manager package and an optional Ultra-Wide SCSI controller. Integrated on-board server management includes thermal, voltage and fan monitoring, and an automatic remote reset which lets network administrators reboot the system remotely.

Dell also says it is shipping its new PowerEdge 4100 server for the midrange market and will achieve volume shipments by November. The 4100 will feature a motherboard developed by Dell that can come with single or dual Pentium Pro processors running at 180 MHz or 200 MHz. It will be available with a redundant 500-watt power supply, five hot-swappable fans, up to six hot-swappable 9GB hard drives, and a PCI RAID controller.

Dell will wait to ship its four-way Pentium Pro 6100 server until later this year, however. Some companies, such as Dell, have elected to wait to ship systems with this four-way Standard High Volume motherboard from Intel because of outstanding problems with the cache memory.