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NEC Server Part of Datacenter 2000 Program Overseas

Jim Martin

NEC Computers recently added to its Express hardware line with the introduction of the Express 5800/180Rb-7 server. This newest offering will be part of the Microsoft Datacenter 2000 Program in Japan and eventually will be part of the program in Europe.

To be a member of the Microsoft Datacenter program, vendors must pass a series of tests, ranging from installation and availability assessments to qualifications focused on the entire systems vs. individual components. This certification tells potential customers that the vendors have a high level of reliability, scalability, and serviceability to meet their high-end enterprise needs.

"NEC is among the select number of OEMs that are part of the Datacenter program," says Peter Thayer, director of marketing for the server division at NEC. "There are a lot of requirements that go into being a member of this program, so we're very proud of this designation."

The Express 5800/180Rb-7 is NEC's third-generation, eight-way server. While previous versions of the eight-way servers were built with proprietary chipsets made by NEC, the 180Rb-7 is built with the Intel Profusion chipset. It features up to eight Pentium III Xeon processors, can expand to 32 GB of memory, and features dual Ultra2 SCSI. It also contains 10 PCI slots, two internal hard disk drive bays, and support for hot-swap disk drives.

According to Thayer, one of the main target areas for the 180Rb-7 is companies with cross-enterprise systems. "It's good for supply chain, e-mail collaboration, and any other applications that have to be deployed across an enterprise," he says.

Despite inclusion of Express 5800/ 180Rb-7 in Japan's and Europe's Datacenter programs, it is unlikely the server will be a part of the US program.

NEC has a strong presence in Japan and Europe, but it has not recognized the same level of success in North America. "Our smallest market is North America," Thayer says.

NEC's main focus in Japan is the large-enterprise space. In Europe, NEC sells directly to the midmarket. On the high end, NEC servers are sold under the Bull brand name in Europe.

In North America, NEC sells almost exclusively to the midmarket. "We target the midmarket space in North America, which we primarily do through resellers." Because the Datacenter program is targeted toward large enterprise customers, NEC isn't pushing the 180Rb-7 to become part of the US program.

Thayer says NEC has undergone some changes that could help NEC become a bigger player in the North American market, but whether or not that means targeting the high-end space or simply placing a greater emphasis on the midmarket was left open.

"Right now, in North America, eight-way is as high as we go, but there has been some reorganization that will pave the way for greater success in the North American market," Thayer says. "These changes are going to allow us to provide better support to customers and the sales channel. We don't see a huge opportunity for the US Datacenter program, but that might change in the future."

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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