Dell Debuts Five Servers Designed for Small Biz

The latest news out of Round Rock, Texas involves five new servers that Dell says offer small business owners more incentive to move from desktop-based computing to server-based computing. Frank Muehleman, vice president of Dell’s small business division, said at a news conference yesterday that the new members of the PowerEdge server family will help reduce server complexity and make IT management easier than ever for small businesses.

A study of SMBs with one to 99 employees (of which there are 6.2 million in the U.S.), published in 2006 by AMI-Partners, showed that despite a chronic lack of IT resources, cash flow issues and other impediments, small business owners recognize that technology can help them succeed. “Most of these small businesses work with basic technology and rely on external IT support,” said Laurie McCabe, a vice president at AMI Research. “They know they need to invest in technology.”

 According the study, McCabe said, these small businesses will spend $98 billion on IT products and services in 2006, and 22 percent of SMBs plan to replace or add servers in the next 12 months. Muehleman added that Dell’s goal is to help simplify the process, “By making our servers more affordable and easier to manage, small-business owners can get back to the matter of running and growing their businesses.”

The five servers announced yesterday range in prices starting at $599 to $1,399. They include the following products:

PowerEdge SC440: Dell’s entry-level server comes with dual-core Intel Xeon 3000 series processors. This server, according to Dell, is designed for file and print sharing, small workgroup, e-mail, Web or dedicated applications and offers up to 40 percent performance improvement over the previous generation.It also includes SAS and SATA storage technology. Starting price: $599.

PowerEdge 840: This general-purpose tower server comes with dual-core Intel Xeon 3000 series processors, and Dell calls it an ideal solution for companies with remote offices, retail POS and small businesses. It promises a 66 percent increase in performance over the previous generation, and Dell says it offers SAS and SATA hot-pluggable storage technology. Starting price: $749.

PowerEdge 860: This 1U rack-mountable server runs dual-core Intel Xeon 3000 series processors. Dell says it provides “simplified enterprise-class server capabilities” that improves performance and reduces power consumption, and that it’s suitable for hosting applications that people outside of your network can use, such as Web applications, e-commerce sites or search engines. Dell also claims the server provides an increase in performance of up to 66 percent more than the previous generation. It too offers SAS and SATA storage technology. Starting price: $949.

Dell PowerEdge 1900 server
The Dell PowerEdge 1900 server, one of the company’s five new servers aimed at small businesses.

PowerEdge SC1430: This server comes with dual-core Intel Xeon 5100 series processors. Muehleman said this server has the smallest physical design for file and print sharing, dedicated workgroup, e-mail messaging and small Web server applications. Dell claims it also provides up to a 155 percent increase in performance over the previous generation, plus SAS and SATA storage technology. Starting price: $1,049.

PowerEdge 1900: This server features dual-core Intel Xeon 5100 series processors, and according to Dell, it’s optimized for database, messaging, file and print sharing. Dell says it also makes a good choice for remote locations, offers up to 211 percent improved performance over the previous generation and technologies designed to deliver simplified management through a standardized infrastructure. Starting price: $1,399.

Calling the servers complete, business-ready solutions, Muehleman said that all five servers are available with Microsoft Small Business Server R2 factory-installed. Noting the challenge facing small businesses who are moving to server-based computing for the first time, Muehleman said that Dell has launched a new site — Dell Server Networking Basics — that offers self-guided tutorials to aid small business owners in the process.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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