Digital revamps product line with Windows NT models

In a move to deepen its support for the Microsoft Corp. Windows NT operating system, Digital Equipment Corp. last week introduced a slew of new Intel Corp. PC servers and unified its server lines based on Intel- and Alpha-based processors under the Digital Server brand name.

The new lineup— spread across the 1000, 3000, 5000, 7000 and 9000 series— includes five Intel-based servers and three Alpha-based servers, all of which have been optimized to run Windows NT, Digital said.

Previously, Digital offered Intel-based Windows NT under the Prioris brand, while other servers— including Alpha-based Windows NT, Unix and OpenVMS— were developed and marketed separately. The Prioris brand has been discontinued, and existing Prioris models have been incorporated into the Digital Server line.

With the new server family, "we have put together a family of systems that are all organized to run Windows NT and unify the two architectures in a common product family," said Andrei Shishov, director of marketing for Digital NT servers.

Digital will continue to market its higher-end Alpha Server line running OpenVMS, Digital Unix and Windows NT, the company said.

The Digital Server line begins with the workgroup-level Digital Server 1200, which can be equipped with one or two 233 MHz Pentium II processors. At a price of about $2,000, it brings the price of a low-end server down to the price of a desktop PC, said Paul Thuman, manager of NT server sales for Digital's federal government region.

At the high end, the company introduced the Digital Server 9100, which can be equipped with up to eight 200 MHz Pentium Pro processors and ranges in price from about $18,700 to about $30,000.

Digital also included three 19-inch rack systems among its new Intel-based server offerings for customers who are trying to save space. "Racks are becoming very important in the server market because so many of these servers are popping up," Thuman said. "Instead of taking up floor space, [customers] want to take them vertical."

The three new Alpha Servers incorporate chips that have been modified to run only Windows NT. The modification brings the Alpha Servers into a price range comparable to the Intel-based servers, Shishov said. Pricing on the Alpha systems— which run one to four processors at speeds of 400, 500 or 533 MHz— range from $4,000 to about $20,000.

Digital will be looking at adding the new servers onto several of its federal contracts, including the U.S. Postal Service's Acquisition for Desktop Extended Processor Technology contract; the Department of Veterans Affairs' Procurement of Computer Hardware and Software contract, which is held jointly with Sysorex Information Systems Inc.; and NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement II.

Digital also will be working with integrators to add the products to the Treasury Distributed Processing Infrastructure program and the Support Hardware and Automation Related Products acquisition conducted by the Defense Medical Systems Support Center.

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