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IBM revamps PC server line

IBM makes significant additions to the low end of its PC server platform, including a new Pentium Pro server, system management tools, and a revision to its ServerGuide CD that simplifies the installation of operating systems.

IBM (IBM) has made significant additions to the low end of its PC server platform, including a new Pentium Pro server, system management tools, and a revision to its ServerGuide CD that simplifies the installation of operating systems.

IBM's PC server 325 is targeted at large and medium-sized businesses needing departmental file servers, database servers, or Internet servers that run email and word processing applications, the company said.

The 325, which uses a 200-MHz Pentium Pro processor with 256K of integrated level-2 cache, is upgradable to an SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) dual-processor model packing 512K of cache in each processor. The 325, starting at about $5,000, is priced well below the recently announced 704 server, which starts at $18,000. The 704 offers higher-end features such as more storage capacity and an upgrade to a four-processor configuration.

Along with the 325, IBM has also introduced the PC Server Advanced Systems Management Adapter, a management tool that enables network administrators to monitor and manage PC servers both locally and remotely when combined with TME 10 NetFinity software. Administrators using the adapter card can dial into the system with a built-in modem and reset the server or check on system status. The adapter also provides auto restart and notification capability if the server hangs. The card will be available in PCI/EISA or PCI/ISA versions.

In addition, IBM says it has revised its ServerGuide collection of installation tools. The CD-ROM collection includes Auto Pilot for use in hardware configuration. It also includes Co-Pilot which bundles TME 10 NetFinity, Lotus Notes, and IBM AntiVirus. Other software includes a library of drivers and setup disks for the PC Server.

The estimated street price for a PC Server 325 will start at $5,060 for the single processor version with 32MB of ECC EDO memory and an 8X CD-ROM. Expansion is offered through six PCI/EISA slots. Seven bays can provide for up to 13.5GB of hard drive storage using an Ultra SCSI disk controller. IBM says the new servers will start shipping later this month.

The systems management card will also be available later this month for an estimated street price of $460. ServerGuide ships at no extra charge with all IBM PC Servers.

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