Compaq ups the server stakes

Compaq threw down the gauntlet to server rivals Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard today when it completed a year of server launches with a Pentium II-based ProLiant range, a ProLiant cluster strategy and the promise of fibre channel storage products early next year.Compaq also showed its server rivals a clean pair of heels, racing ahead in the server market to a 43.

Compaq threw down the gauntlet to server rivals Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard today when it completed a year of server launches with a Pentium II-based ProLiant range, a ProLiant cluster strategy and the promise of fibre channel storage products early next year.

Compaq also showed its server rivals a clean pair of heels, racing ahead in the server market to a 43.7 per cent share, a rise of 4.7 per cent from the third quarter of 1996, according to Dataquest.

All new servers will ship with Hot Plug devices as standard, including Hot Plug drives, that can be replaced without powering down the server, and Hot Plug Redundant Power Supplies that can be changed without interrupting service.

"These are key features that will eliminate planned and unplanned downtime," said Helen Twelvetree, Compaq's systems product manager.

The top range ProLiant 5500 server (£6,580) will retain Pentium Pro chips but can support up to four at 200MHz. It has integrated 512Kb cache and 32Gb system memory.

The PII departmental/workgroup servers include the ProLiant 3000, a 300MHz-based server (£4,495), the ProLiant 1600, a 266MHz-based server (£2,850) and the ProLiant 1200, a 233MHz-based server (£1,995).

Hugh Jenkins, Compaq's Enterprise Group product manager also outlined the company's cluster strategy. The ProLiant Cluster Series F will use fibre channel storage interconnects and the Cluster Series S will feature SCSI interconnects and represent the first products to be borne out the Tandem acquisition by offering Tandem's ServerNet interconnect.

Server storage is also in for a shift. Donal Madden, the company's server storage product manager promised fibre channel storage products by spring next year. Madden also said Compaq would be looking at the back-up issue in greater depth. "Back-up is customer issue number one at the moment and back-up technology has not kept pace."

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