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April 28, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:40pm

PACKARD BELL NEC TAPS JAPAN FOR NT SERVERS

By CBR Staff Writer

It’s taken about a year to get its act together, but this week Packard Bell NEC Inc goes on the road with a Windows NT server strategy it hopes will elevate it from the rank of other supplier to the number five vendor of Intel-based servers in the US market by 1999. Rather than stitching a product together from its Packard Bell, Zenith Data Systems and NEC Computer Systems units, the group’s plumped for the Express5800 servers already tried, tested and sold by big daddy NEC Corp back in Japan, where they’re claimed to be the biggest sellers in their class. Express5800 servers will gradually supersede the existing ProServa lines, though the company will retain Zenith’s Z-Server nomenclature for systems its sells to the US government and in European commercial markets where it’s supposedly garnered some brand equity worth keeping. The RM4000 rack-mount is a one-to- four way 200MHz Pentium Pro enterprise server built from NEC’s own chassis and component design. It doesn’t use Intel’s SHV cards, finding they don’t offer enough expansion opportunities; SHVs don’t support the latest half-height 9Gb drives for instance. The RM400 is aimed at internet, data mining and data warehousing applications. The two-way LE2000 – low entry workgroup configuration – is a replacement for the existing 120MHz ProServa V Plus Pentium box – the 200MHz V Plus will live on. The division will flesh out the rest of its server product range by the end of the quarter, replacing two- and four-way ProServa SH, PH and HX Pentium Pro servers with additional Express5800 form factor models – its numbering scheme suggests there’s room for 1000 and 3000 series systems. The company says it’s not jumping into the six-, eight-way or NT clustering space as its doesn’t see demand. The systems also support NetWare, but again it’s seeing little demand. The LE2000 costs from $4,000 as a 200MHz uniprocessor with 32Mb RAM and 4Gb disk. A two-way is priced from $5,300 with 64Mb RAM. The RM4000 costs from $13,500 as a uniprocessor with 64Mb RAM. Packard Bell NEC also markets Packard Bell and Ready brand consumer PCs; Versa and MobilePro portables; and the desktop PowerMate. NEC claims to have 500 engineers working on Intel server technology.

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