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9/27/2005
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IBM Prices New Small-Business Servers Starting At $599

IBM will unveil low-cost xSeries options running either Linux or Windows, in an effort to grab a share of the small-business market as well as to steal thunder from Sun's recent Galaxy server rollout.

IBM Tuesday is expected to unveil a line of low-priced servers, aiming to grab a share of the small-business market.

IBM's plans closely follow rival Sun Microsystems, which earlier this month released a series of low-cost servers starting at $745 with an Opteron 146 processor and Solaris 10. IBM's line starts with the xSeries 100 server, which carries a list price of $599 with an Intel Celeron processor. The x100 will support up to a Pentium 4 dual-core processor and can be loaded with Windows Small Business Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

The x100 is aimed at companies with up to 50 employees and will be sold under IBM's Express brand for small business, said Bruce Corregan, manager of xSeries systems brand marketing for the Americas at IBM, Armonk, N.Y.

"We deserve a share in that space," Corregan said. "Our goal is to demonstrate, particularly to small customers, that we are serious about doing business with them, and we are not the most expensive vendor or the most difficult vendor to do business with."

Though IBM's announcement is timed closely to the release of Sun's Galaxy server line, IBM executives denied that the new line was a reaction to its rival's foray into the low end. "Galaxy looks like it is targeted at the data center," said Stuart McRae, IBM's worldwide marketing manager of high-volume servers and workstations.

Also on tap from IBM is the xSeries 206m and xSeries 306m. These systems will support dual- or single-core Pentium 4 CPUs and Serial ATA or Serial-Attached SCSI. IBM ServeRAID also and a variety of operating systems also are available on the systems. Pricing for the xSeries 206m starts at $699 while the rack-mount x306m will start at $1,089.

Corregan said a subset of the 206m and 306m will be available under the Express Brand. All systems under that brand can be sold by solution providers in IBM's System Seller program. The servers also will be sold direct on IBM's Web site, McRae said.

Systems in all three series are expected to begin shipping mid-October.

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