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IBM gussies up low-end server for SMB dance

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IBM today fleshed out the low-end of its server line with a new box aimed square at SMBs and upgrades to two existing systems.

The new x100 fits into IBM's Express hardware and software program, which includes lower-cost, less sophisticated products for smaller buyers. Customers can purchase the tower server with a single-core Celeron or Pentium 4 chip or a dual-core Pentium D processor. The system also has four I/O slots, five drive bays, and support for Windows Server 2003 and versions of Linux from Red Hat and Novell.

IBM's pricing starts at $599 for a 2.53GHz Celeron-based system and stretches up to a fancier 3.40GHz Pentium 4-based box at $1,099.

"Designed specifically for small businesses up to 50 users, the x100 combines built-to-last server quality with the latest technologies such as dual core processing, in an affordable, easy-to-configure, and easy-to-use system," IBM said. "The x100 can help manage and protect vital business data such as inventory records and e-mail applications, as well as delivering basic functions such as file and print serving or Web site hosting."

So there you have it.

IBM also refreshed the tower x206 server and its friend that fits into a nice rack, the x306. New to the systems are hot-swap hard drives, redundant power supplies, a fourth hard drive for RAID-happy types and a management controller for remote administration. All in all, IBM is clearly trying to spruce up these low-end systems to resemble dependable business dynamos.

Customers can't get their paws on the kit just yet. They'll have to wait until mid-October to shell out at least $699 for the x206 and at least $1,159 for the x306. ®

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