Gateway Kicks Off Server Push with New Systems

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Print this article Print


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The system maker is using the Intel Developer Forum as a starting point for a reinvigorated plan for servers.

Gateway is using the Intel Developer Forum as the kick off for its reinvigorated server plans.

At the event in San Francisco on Sept. 28, Gateway rolled out three new servers powered by Intel's dual-core "Woodcrest" Xeon processors and 5000P chip set.

However, more importantly for the systems maker, it is looking to use myriad product enhancements to get customers to take a new look at Gateway, which is overshadowed by much larger competitors like IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, as a server vendor.

The new executives who took over Gateway after its $290 million purchase of eMachines in 2004 took a hard line that Gateway needed to get back to its PC roots, and at times questioned why the Irvine, Calif., company was in the server business, said Tim Diefenthaler, senior director of product marketing at Gateway.

However, the arrival of Ed Coleman as CEO in September is bringing renewed emphasis on what Gateway dubs "the professional market," both with servers and storage.

"We've got a very nice solution for the markets we play in," which includes education, the government and small and midsize businesses, Diefenthaler said.

"With the issues that Dell's having and the issues that HP's having, this is a good opportunity for us."

Diefenthaler is referring to Dell's disappointing financials over the past few quarters and an investigation by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, and to the controversy surrounding HP's investigation into news leaks from its board of directors.

The new systems—the E-9520T tower servers, 1U (1.75-inch) E-9425R and 2U (3.5-inch) E-9525R—are being manufactured with a new ODM, Taiwan-based Inventec, which enabled Gateway to build the systems from the ground up, Diefenthaler said.

They also are being built at Gateway's new configuration center in Nashville, Tenn.

Priced between $1,849 and $2,199, the new systems can be ordered immediately.

Among the new offerings in the system are the introduction of the Gateway Lights Out system management features, which enables customers to remotely shut down or restart servers though a Web browser and a Web-based dashboard.

In addition, Gateway is offering remote control KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) product that enables users to take full control of a server remotely.

In the fourth quarter, an optional System Management Integrated LCD will be offered. Users will be able to plug them into the front of the server and view the system's status, Diefenthaler said.

In addition, the systems can run both SAS (serial-attached SCSI) and SATA II (serial ATA) drives depending on customers needs, and businesses can run both in the same system, he said.

And because of the systems' new design, Gateway can fit more of the larger 3.5-inch drives, rather than the 2.5-inch drives, which offers users more capacity.

The E-9425R can hold up to four drives, the E-9525R up to six and the E-9520T up to 10, Diefenthaler said.

Click here to read how Gateway is touting more PC bang for the buck.

The systems also offer redundant hot-swap fans and power supplies, and a new front bezel offers better airflow for more efficient cooling, he said.

Gateway also improved serviceability, Diefenthaler said. All three models offer a tool-less chassis and motherboards, and the components are color-coded.

Serviceability continues to be a focus of OEMs. Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, which this summer began a major push with new servers, also is designing the newer systems with more tool-less components and color-coding.

Gateway is also making the systems with common components, lessening the inventory demands on users.

"We put a lot of emphasis on the manageability of the systems, the serviceability of the systems and the commonality of components," Diefenthaler said.

The plan is for future Gateway servers to offer similar features and common components, he said.

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