Compaq is reaching for a bigger slice of the low-end server market in the UK with the launch of two pared-down server appliances this summer.
Compaq's launch mirrors Oracle's Raw Iron initiative, which aims to provide sealed box servers with prepackaged software and a stripped-down operating system.
The first Compaq machine, a Web caching device with no keyboard or monitor, will have NetWare as an embedded operating system and will be sold starting in June, the company said.
Compaq's second product is Prosignia NeoServer.
It offers file and print remote access, automated data back-up, Email and Internet access.
Both servers are expected to sell in this country for about £1,300 with Internet access and £1,100 without, Compaq said.
"At the very low end, we are competing with unnamed white boxes," said Compaq's industrial server division general manager, Mary McDowell. "Our strategy is to compete with black boxes (pre-installed with applications), offering a whole solution to the customers."
The next model in the range is expected to feature a virtual private network and firewall, McDowell added.
Dell UK reacted to Compaq's launch by saying that its competitor's appliance servers did not offer customers anything new and that Compaq's marketing strategy for the products was flawed.
"We sell Power Edge servers with (all those features) at the minute," Dell UK vice president Brian McBride said.
"It's not about technology - it's about how you get to market," he said.
"Compaq is in a muddle by using two methods", direct and indirect.
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