Review: Gateway 7210 Server

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted October 01, 2000
by Matthew Klare

Gateway's 7210 Server is a solid choice for businesses needing to keep hardware expenditures reasonable yet ensure that today's purchase can grow to accommodate tomorrow's needs. Unlike the many server appliances available to small businesses today, the 7210 offers a good range of expansion capabilities at a very fair price.

For $1,799, the 7210 is available with a single 600MHz Pentium III Processor, 128MB of RAM, a 9GB IBM Ultra SCSI hard drive, and a 48X Max CD-ROM drive. If additional processing power becomes an issue, adding a second Pentium CPU is simple and inexpensive.

Adding extra hard drives is also a snap, because the 7210 can hold up to six, 1-inch drives. Additionally, these drive bays are hot-swappable, meaning that it's possible to replace hard drives in the system without shutting down the server, important if you are striving to minimize network downtime. For using this hot-swap feature, you'll want the 7210's optional RAID controller. This affords data redundancy (hence protection)and improves performance.

Accessing the guts of the 7210 is a snap. It's housed in a toolless case which permits fast and easy entry and part swapping. Everything from hard drives to expansion cards and cooling fans is secured in the case using quick-release mechanisms which are color coded for non-experts.

Gateway's OpenView software tool provides server monitoring and management. This tool keeps track of a host of functions within the server case, including temperature, voltage, disk usage, and CPU usage as well as the status of fans, memory, and power supplies. If the system is running Windows NT or Novell NetWare, OpenView can notify the server administrator if a problem arises.

Gateway backs the 7210 with a three-year on-site warranty that covers parts and labor. If your bottom-line need is for an inexpensive, no-nonsense server that's easy to set up and maintain, the 7210 is a must see.

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