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Intel pushes thin server ‘appliances’

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Intel is targeting the burgeoning small business sector with a new line of thin server appliance products that it says will make it easy and cheap to network between two and 50 PCs. The products will be sold as part of Intel's InBusiness product line and will be available this year. Brad Romney, Intel's small business networking operation manager, commented: "Thin server appliances will usher in a new era of technology use for small businesses. For the reseller channel, these new devices will represent a completely new category of products to sell and service into new and existing accounts." Dataquest's senior industry analyst James Staten, says that the thin server appliance market segment will grow by some $14 million, to exceed $16 billion in revenue by 2002. Romney said that thin server appliances were akin to household objects like toasters and microwaves, in that they are designed to perform a single function and need very little maintenance. The first of the products was launched earlier in the year, the InBusiness InternetStation. This provides multiple users with Internet access without multiple ISP accounts, modems and phonelines. NetportExpress PRO/100 print servers are also available. In a white paper, Intel outlined key criteria that thin server appliances should meet: It should do one thing well, be low cost with no head count license fees. It should have the scope for expansion at a later date, be physically designed to perform its task and be manageable via the Web. More info from Intel's networking Web site. ®

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