Gateway Releases Midrange Server; Shakeups Pricing

By Amy Newman | Posted August 22, 2003

Gateway on Thursday added one more server option into its mix.

The Gateway 960X, which began shipping this week, is designed for small- and mid-size businesses as well as workgroups within larger organizations.

Gateway is touting the server's redundancy features, which enable it to achieve maximum uptime, as its main advantage.

"The Gateway 960X is a midrange server that delivers high-performance features," said Scott Weinbrandt, general manager of Gateway's Systems and Networking Products Division. "It's an ideal product for smaller companies and workgroups looking for value at a competitive price — with advanced capabilities such as redundant power and hot-swappable drives."

With Gateway's brand equity very strong and customer satisfaction at a high level, Weinbrandt said the computer maker sees itself "as a supplemental vendor, getting on corporations 'Approved Vendor Lists.'"

Weinbrandt also described the vendor's current strategy. "We'll focus on being disruptive when it comes to value, price and service. We now have the edge servers, the database server, the application server, and storage servers."

To delivers the high level of redundancy Gateway is claiming at an aggressive price point, the 960X features dual Intel Xeon processors, four hot-swap drives, optional redundant 450W power supply, and room for future expansion to enable the box to scale up.

The 960X comes standard in a tower case but is also available in a 5U rack-mount option, for both purchase and later conversion.

The 960X contains up to 8 GB of error-correcting code (ECC) memory, four Ultra 320 small computer system interface (SCSI) hot-swappable drive bays, two 5 1/4" available peripheral bays, six peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slots (four of which are PCI-X), and integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet for networked environments.

The 960X supports Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, and Microsoft Small Business Server 2000. Red Hat Linux is also available.

Priced starting at $1,399, the Gateway 960X is poised to compete with similar offerings from Dell, which earlier this week announced across-the-board price reductions.

Dell's PowerEdge 6600, a 4-way server, saw the largest reduction — $2,800, a 22 percent price cut. Other rack-dense servers were reduced up to 10 percent in price.

Dell announced the price cuts in hopes of capturing more market share from Hewlett-Packard, which announced disappointing hardware results earlier this week.

IBM for its part is attempting to woo Dell's discarded high-end customers to its Intel Xeon-based eServer x440 systems, an 8-way processing system at the top of the xSeries product line.

Where Gateway will fall with shifting sands remains to be seen. Weinbrandt believes "Gateway is a replacement to Dell, IBM, HP. Customers are sitting down with us." He also noted IBM's vulnerability due to its former focus on Big Iron. For Gateway, its brand just makes it stronger — along with aggressive leasing and money-back guarantees. Small and mid-sized businesses have little or nothing to lose by giving Gateway servers a try.

Adapted from ServerWatch.com.

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