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Sep, 2001 : NEC Releases Fault Tolerant Server Series


September 12, 2001 - NEC Computers Inc. (http://www.necft.com), a leading provider ofmobile, desktop and server computing solutions for the enterprise market,announced a new line of Fault Tolerant servers for the North Americanmarketplace. The NEC Express5800/ft series is based on Intel Corporation'sPentium III processors and runs on Microsoft's Windows 2000 Advanced Serveroperating system.

NEC's Express5800/ft series provides users with continuous availability,which means the servers are designed to prevent interruption of service,data loss and data corruption in the event of a hardware problem ormaintenance servicing. The systems are also uniquely designed for easyimplementation, as they require only typical hardware or softwareconfiguration and support standard Windows applications. These features helpto minimize IT staff training requirements and enable the use ofcommercially available software, which helps reduce total cost of ownership.
"NEC's fault tolerant servers create a new opportunity for Value-AddedResellers seeking higher margin sales and service contracts," said VernonTurner, International Data Corporation . "In addition, for end users thatwould not consider traditional high-availability systems because of thecost, complexity and administration, the Express 5800/ft series provides acompelling alternative to high-priced cluster systems for the first time."
All of NEC's new fault tolerant servers are based on fault toleranttechnology licensed from Stratus Technologies. NEC's first available faulttolerant server, the Express5800/320La, is available through selectvalue-added Resellers (VARs) in North America. Additional fault tolerantservers will be announced by NEC through 2002.
"Using Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server in continuously availablesystems is a very strong cost-of-ownership proposition," said Bob Ellsworth,lead product manager, Windows .NET Server, Microsoft. "Businesses can usewidely available applications rather than costly proprietary software. Thesavings goes straight to the bottom line. And that equation doesn't considerthe new types of applications available to businesses that want continuouslyavailable systems. Adding continuous availability with applicationflexibility and cost savings can translate directly into a significantcompetitive advantage."
The Express5800/ft series employs a unique design that allows all processingand input/output commands to run on redundant components in lockstep. Theservers include multiple CPU processing modules, multiple I/O-PCI modules,power supplies and hard disk drive running in what is called an"Active/Active" mode. The redundant components in each module processidentical data at the same time. In the event of a hardware failure orhardware error, the defective module is instantly isolated without losingmemory state or processing instructions. The end result is a far higherlevel of system integrity and stability when compared to non-fault-tolerantsystems.
In contrast, typical high-availability system designs such as clustersystems are designed to recover from failure quickly, losing memory andpotentially corrupting data in the process.
"Clustered systems, conventional servers or legacy fault tolerant systemshave been the choices to date for companies that strive to have reliable andavailable servers to run their business," said Mike Mitsch, director,enterprise computing, NEC Computers Inc. "These options can be expensive,difficult to administer or lacking in high availability features. TheExpress5800/320La is a breakthrough product for NEC in every one of thoseconsiderations. It is designed for users that require high availability anddata integrity."
NEC Computers' Express5800/ft server series expands the use of faulttolerant systems into branch office and infrastructure intensive enterpriseenvironments, back office retail environments, and the small- tomedium-sized enterprise, among others. In all of these applications, NEC'slow entry price allows fault tolerant technology to be used in applicationswhere high availability systems may not have been possible before.
Traditional use of fault tolerant technology has been in financial servicesand communications, where a server outage can cost a company millions ofdollars. In those environments fault tolerant systems can cost up to$200,000 or more. The NEC Express5800/ft server series addresses businessapplications where downtime may cost less, but are equally critical to thebusinesses that use them.
A modular design, advanced monitoring ability and online testingcapabilities allow NEC Computers to introduce a new service paradigm withthe Express5800/ft server series. These features help provide ease-of-use,installation and maintenance time-savings, reduced repair and maintenancecosts, remote monitoring and repair capabilities, and problem identificationand resolution, all without a system shutdown. In addition, the CPUs and allother redundant components are housed in detachable modules that can beremoved and replaced without system shut down.
Already shipping in Japan, the Express5800/320La server is availableimmediately for order in North America at a list price of $19,997.00 US.Dual Processor models are now available for order and will likely beshipping in Q4 of 2001 at a list price of $21,975.00 US for a fullyredundant system consisting of Pentium III/800MHz Intel CPUs, 256MB RAM,integrated 10/100 Networking and Windows 2000 Advanced Server with a 25-userpack license. Current models are available in pedestal format, while futuremodels will also include 8U rack-mounted models.

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