Somers, NY — As Joe Wilcox reported for CNET News.com, IBM wants to intimidate Sun Microsystems and other rivals selling servers to Internet service providers.
To accomplish this, the firm is readying a new Windows NT server, code-named Intimidator, for ISPs that it will deliver in less than two weeks. The new server is IBM’s first volley in a plug-it-in-and-forget-it strategy aimed at getting Internet servers up and running more quickly.
The Netfinity 4000R will be one of the smallest ISP servers available, the company said, measuring 1 1/2 inches thick and stackable to 42 units high. Space for additional servers is a concern of ISPs as they expand their businesses.
Intimidator will come with two 550-MHz Pentium III processors and will cost between $3,000 and $4,000, also making it one of the most inexpensive ISP servers around. Big Blue is targeting the Netfinity 4000R to companies primarily offering Internet access and Web hosting.
Intimidator is the first in a series of new Netfinity servers for ISPs as well as application service providers. The new Nefinity servers, code-named Sparrow and Silk Worm, are slated to ship later in the year or early 2000. Sparrow is a thin server for companies providing application hosting and Silk Worm is more of an infrastructure server using four Intel Pentium III processors.
Thin is in at Big Blue, which also plans to deliver a reduced-size RS/6000 later this month. RS/6000 is IBM’s midrange Unix server.
IBM hopes to challenge rival Sun’s significant lead in the ISP market and growing dominance with application service providers by speeding time to revenue. The new servers will come preconfigured and ready to use. Conceptually, ISPs and ASPs would be able to slide the servers into a rack, attach the power cord and network connection, and use the new servers immediately.
The company will also challenge Compaq Computer, which claims that about 30 percent of ISPs use its servers overall and 50 percent of those running Windows NT. Sun offers only Unix servers, which like Compaq’s typically require some configuration by computer dealers or in-house IT managers before deployment.
IBM is betting its thin line of preconfigured servers will attract customers who need to order a server today, and install and run it tomorrow.