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IBM Ships First Server for Small Customers

With renewed interest in attracting small business customers, IBM has begun to ship the first machines in a new line of single-processor, x86-based, low-cost servers targeted specifically to provide “enterprise class” technology to small-scale businesses.

Big Blue’s three new xSeries servers are meant to support small firms with 50 or fewer users, according to company officials.

The x100 is a tower configuration and the entry-level server. A starter unit costs $599 with a 2.5-Ghz Celeron processor, 256 MB of memory, and an 80 GB hard disk. The x100 is available with a range of configurations up to a 2.8-Ghz, dual-core Pentium D CPU with 8 GB of memory and 500 GB of disk.

“The x100 is the first server that we’ve ever designed especially for small business,” says Stuart McRea, IBM worldwide marketing manager for xSeries servers.

The xSeries 206m is also a tower configuration that will be available with either a dual-core Pentium D running at up to 3 Ghz or a Pentium 4 running at up to 3.4 Ghz. It can be configured with up to 8 GB of memory and 1.2 TB of disk space.

Finally, the xSeries 306m is a rack-mountable unit with either a dual-core Pentium 4 running at up to 3 Ghz or a single-core Pentium 4 running at up to 3.6 Ghz. The 306m can be configured with up to 8 GB of memory and 500 GB of disk.

All of the CPUs available for all three new xSeries servers support Intel’s Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T).

Models of both the 206m and 306m area available with support for hot-swappable disk drives – up to two on the 306m and up to four on the 206m. Additionally, the 206m supports hot-swappable power supplies on some units.

All three are available with Microsoft’s Windows Small Business Server 2003 pre-installed or, alternately, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The 206m and 306m are also available with Novell Netware.

The x100 is shipping now. IBM’s xSeries 206m and 306m will begin shipping in mid-October, according to McRea. The x206m will be available with a starting price of $699, while the x306m will start at $1,159.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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