Intergraph unveils reduced-cost, four-way enterprise server

Intergraph Computer Systems today announced two Microsoft Corp. Windows NT servers targeting enterprise and departmental computing that offer a price point up to $6 000 lower than previous models.

Intergraph's InterServe 650tx and 660tx servers run up to four 200 MHz Pentium Pro processors. The product line said Nik Simpson a senior product manager at Intergraph's Server Division is a "defeatured reduced-cost version" of Intergraph's InterServe 650 and 660 offerings which debuted last year.

While using the same motherboard as the earlier product set the InterServe 650tx and 660tx offer 10 PCI slots rather than 12 and two power supplies rather than three. As a result the InterServe 650tx and 660tx offer computing power comparable with the InterServe 650 and 660 at a price that is $4 000 to $6 000 lower Simpson said.

Street prices for the InterServe 650tx and 660tx start at $24 500. Intergraph Simpson said has pushed the price "well down into the standard Intel [Corp.] Pentium Pro market space."

The InterServe 650tx and 660tx are slated for general availability in August. Simpson said he expects the product to appear on the General Services Administration schedule contract in August or September. The products also will be offered through Intergraph's Computer-Aided Design-2 contracts with the Navy.

Intergraph's pricing strategy with the InterServe 650tx and 660tx "makes them attractive to a lot of buyers" said Jerry Sheridan an analyst with Dataquest Inc. He added that the product line could be a good fit for buyers "moving up" to a larger server.

Intergraph's marketing strategy for the 650tx and 660tx is to position the products as servers for pre-press applications World Wide Web hosting and Microsoft Exchange messaging.

Intergraph has seen activity in Exchange messaging in the federal sector. Navy shipyards and the Navy Bureau of Medicine have deployed InterServe 650 and 660 products as Exchange servers Simpson said. He said he believed the Navy Bureau of Medicine may also purchase 650tx and 660tx servers as they deploy 300 to 400 Exchange servers.

Joe Clabby director of transitional technology at The Aberdeen Group said Intergraph's "vertical" marketing strategy is a way for the company to differentiate its servers. "Pretty much all NT servers look alike " he said. "The real issue in the NT space is coming down to vertical focus the manageability of the server and service and support."

The InterServe 650tx and 660tx feature Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 64M to 4G of RAM a PCI-based Redundant Array of Independent Disks controller with three Ultra/Wide SCSI channels and an internal disk array with up to 72G of storage. The InterServe 650tx employs dual 200 MHz Pentium Pro processors that can be upgraded to four. The InterServe 660tx ships with four processors.

In other server developments Simpson said Intergraph is planning to debut a Pentium II-based server later this year. The InterServe 325 is slated for introduction in August or September.

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