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IBM targets servers for the Domino effect

Big Blue is making new server computers focused exclusively on Lotus Domino software, which companies are using in droves.

IBM announced new server computers targeted exclusively at Lotus Domino software.

The announcement comes on the back of burgeoning sales of the Domino software on Big Blue's AS/400 server line and amid declining revenues for these systems.

IBM's new AS/400e servers are targeted at small businesses looking to run multiple Lotus Domino applications on one server. Domino server software is targeted at companies needing a cohesive platform for email and Web application software.

IBM is releasing these new servers after recent statistics show that 28 percent of companies surveyed by Lotus in the fourth quarter of 1998 used Domino on AS/400 computers. Also, about one-fourth of new AS/400 customers are deploying Domino, according to IBM.

Big Blue is also trying to boost revenues in its AS/400 business after it reported in its second-quarter earnings statement that sales for these computers declined. This is a segment that had done well previously.

Among other features, the new servers put Domino and AS/400 applications on a single server and consolidate multiple Domino servers. In typical PC server-based Domino implementations, customers install multiple Domino servers to handle small-business workloads.

Clustering features built into the systems allow other computers to take over if one fails. These servers also don't need to be shut down during routine maintenance and service, IBM said.

The servers will range in price from $11,000 to $22 500 and include 256MB of memory and 4GB hard drives. The new AS/400e Dedicated Server for Domino can be ordered beginning August 3 and is scheduled to be generally available September 24.