the Pipeline

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MPC Computers LLC officials have released their NetFrame 120 server, a low-cost, single-processor unit designed for use as a Web server, appliance server or development server.

Taking up one slot in a standard rack, the server is priced under $1,000, according to company officials. It fills a spot in MPC's server product line, which ranges from single-processor models to enterprise-caliber four-processor units.

The 120 offers buyers the choice of an Intel Corp. Pentium 4 or a Celeron processor. It comes with support for storage devices and with an integrated dual Gigabit Ethernet connection.

It can hold up to 4G of memory, officials said.

NEC Solutions Inc. officials will soon launch the Express 5800/1020Ba blade server for a considerably higher price tag than the NetFrame 120.

The server is powered by two of Intel's Itanium 2 processors, and features 64-bit processing and up to 24G of memory.

According to company officials, the blade is suited for high-performance analytical applications such as genome mapping, weapons research and financial market simulations, or other applications demanding heavy-duty processor power.

The server offers a throughput of 1 gigabyte/sec. Each blade delivers 12.8 gigaflops, and nine blades can fit into one standard 10U chassis so that one chassis can deliver more than 345 gigaflops. It also features automatic failover, two onboard 73G hard drives and a centralized system management interface.

When the system begins shipping, it will cost $79,000 for the chassis and nine two-way blades, each with 2G of memory, 136G of hard drive storage and a redundant power supply.

Dell Inc. officials have released their PowerEdge 7250 server, which uses four Itanium 2 processors. It is the "highest performing server in our portfolio," said Paul Gottsegen, vice president of worldwide marketing for Dell's Product Group.

The server is based on open standards, which keeps the price lower than that of proprietary platforms, he added.

Similar to NEC, Dell officials are touting the server as especially well-suited for high-performance cluster computing environments, including financial modeling, life sciences, oil and gas exploration, and digital animation.

The 4U server — a designation meaning it takes up four rack slots — features a 6M cache on each four-processor server, and has up to 32G of memory, eight PCI-X slots and a system management suite. It also ships with both Microsoft Corp. Windows Server 2003 and Red Hat Inc. Enterprise Linux 3.0 installed.

It starts at a price of $12,499.

Server accessories

Without storage systems, switches, input/output devices and other such additions, a server is just an expensive box filled with electronics.

So it's a good thing that Metapa Inc. officials have released Cluster DataBase 1.0, a Linux clustering platform specifically designed for business-intelligence applications.

The system allows users to deploy large databases on inexpensive clusters of Linux or Sun Microsystems Inc. Solaris servers. The product features fast database query functions, open-source flexibility, linear scalability and easy management, according to company officials.

Tek-Tools Inc. officials have released Profiler for MS Exchange Server, a new module for Tek-Tools' Profiler RX network resource management suite.

The new product allows IT managers to look at various aspects of the Exchange e-mail server, such as the current size of various mailboxes, historical trends and user file analysis. Managers can examine the size of mailboxes on the server or the size and owner of each mailbox. It also can help managers clear out duplicate files or move old messages to secondary storage areas.

Aten Technology Inc. officials have released Matrix, an enterprise-class keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) solution designed specifically for medium and large network environments. Matrix allows four users to control up to 32 computers simultaneously and independently. The system provides the capability to link 32 users and 4,096 computers.

Aten officials have also released the Altusen CN6000 KVM over Net, which allows administrators to access and manage servers and other network resources via the Internet or an internal network.

CN6000 supports 10Base-T, 100Base-T, TCP/IP and HTTP network standards.

Switching storage

MaXXan Systems Inc. officials have unveiled the MXV500, an intelligent storage-area network switch scalable to 256 ports in a single chassis. The switch can scale up to 512 ports in a dual-chassis configuration.

MaXXan debuted the switch at the Storage World Conference held late last month in Long Beach, Calif.

Company officials are touting the switch as an enabling technology for fabric-based intelligence, which basically means that you can manage the SAN from the switch.

"In the past, while the industry discussed the imminence of intelligence in the fabric, our team at MaXXan released the first evidence of it," said Mike Witkowski, MaXXan's chief technology officer. "We now find ourselves once again at the forefront of this technology with the MXV500, a higher-performance and higher-function iteration that represents the new reality of storage networking."

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