Dell unwraps low-cost server

Dell Computer Corp. last month introduced a workgroup and branch-office server that doesn’t cost much more than some PCs, and that boasts management tools typically found in higher-end machines.

Although the PowerEdge 300 starts at US$1,039, it features one or two 800-MHz Pentium III processors, supports up to 1GB of memory and runs the latest Windows, NetWare and Linux operating systems. It also includes three bays with up to 60GB of internal drive capacity.

Dell says it will build the server to customer specifications and ship it directly, leaving little to be done in the way of hardware and software configuration when it arrives.

John Dunkle, president of Workgroup Strategic Services Inc. in Portsmouth, N.H., says the PowerEdge 300 would be well-suited in places where IT staff is thin. Remote management features and preinstalled hardware and software options can reduce preinstallation headaches and ongoing maintenance issues for customers.

Management tools include Dell’s OpenManage software and an optional remote management card. Dell’s Server Assistant software lets network managers install supported operating systems and device drivers more easily. The PowerEdge 300 comes with a standard three-year warranty.

The server will compete with offerings from companies such as IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. IBM’s NetFinity 1000, for instance, costs between US$1,300 and US$1,440, and features a 600- to 700-MHz Pentium III processor. Compaq’s ProLiant ML 330 starts at about US$1,400 configured with a 667-MHz Pentium III processor.

Dell is at

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