Hewlett-Packard (HP) will today announce a mid-range server based on Intel's new 350MHz and 400MHz Pentium II processors.
Claiming to deliver twice the performance of its nearest rivals, the HP NetServer LH 3 also draws on management technology from higher level servers. These include Ultra2 disk drives, 12 internal hot-swap drives and the HP TopTools Remote Control Card.
"It is competitive with entries from Sun," boasted Hilary Glann, HP's worldwide NetServer product marketing manager.
Robin Bloor, CEO of Bloor Research, was less impressed. "Mid-range servers are like propane heaters. They look similar and sit in the corner generating the same amount of heat and noise," he grumbled.
However, Bloor admitted that HP's experience with high-end servers would be valuable in porting manageability features to midrange servers.
"Both HP and IBM have lots of experience in manageable systems," he conceded.
"Both have very good technology, but Compaq has all the market share.
This is becoming a very competitive space and the winner will be whoever markets itself best. It will not be who has the best technology - that has not happened in the past."
The HP NetServer LH 3 can be converted from a pedestal to a rack server within 20 minutes, Glann claimed. "This supports IT managers' ability to deploy flexible strategies," she said. "The server can be used as a data centre, or departmental server, protecting investments."
HP TopTools for Server allow the NetServer to be managed locally or remotely.
The new HP TopTools Remote Control Card and HP OpenView ManageX/SE will be bundled free with the machine.
However, users would eventually want to consolidate midrange servers into a more powerful unit, Bloor warned, forcing HP's latest offering to compete in a shrinking market.
The LH3 will ship in June and is expected to be priced below #3,500.
HP 0990 474747.
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