VNU Net: HP launches entry-level Unix servers

By John Leyden, VNU Net

Hewlett Packard (HP) yesterday launched an entry-level Unix
server which analysts predicted would face stiff competition from
the hardware giant’s own Windows 2000 range of servers.

The A-Class range is designed to help HP gain market share from
Sun Microsystems in the $10.8bn entry-level Unix market.

The HP9000 A400 and A500 servers will be available for order
worldwide on 1 June, and are aimed at service providers, internet
startups and large businesses as a platform to reduce the time it
takes to create and deploy electronic services.

The A400 includes a single PA RISC processor, 2Gb of RAM and two
I/O slots. The A500 includes two processors, 8Gb of RAM and four
I/O slots.

The servers are available with either HP-UX 11 or the Linux
operating system, but the distribution of Linux to be used with the
servers is yet to be announced.

Chris Martin, an analyst at Xephon, said HP was fleshing out its
portfolio so it could provide computers from the desktop to the
datacentre, but he cautioned that different divisions of HP could
end up in competition.

“Entry level Unix servers will face extreme competition from
Windows 2000, and the lower end of the market will suffer,” he

The two servers are rack-mountable in what HP described as a
“pizza-box form”. They come bundled with software applications
including Nokia’s WAP (wireless application protocol) server
software, Infoseek’s search engine, Resonate’s load-balancing
software and e-speak.

The inclusion of Nokia’s WAP software makes HP’s servers the
first ‘out of the box wireless Web Unix servers’, according to the

To sweeten its offering HP announced a variety of payment
packages. These include Servers on Demand, which extends its
existing instant Capacity On Demand program and will allow service
providers to install servers at their premises and not pay for them
until they are actually put into use.

The vendor also introduced a financing option aimed at startups,
Called Pay-Per-Forecast, which allows companies to structure
payments based on their expected revenue and based on a 36-month

HP also promised to introduce a six-hour repair time for the
A400 and A500 servers, which it described as an industry first.

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