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Fujitsu shoots low with BX400 baby blade box

And even lower with Micro Server

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The BX400 S1 chassis can be equipped with a variety of switch modules in its back-end on the other side of the mid-plane that the blade servers plug into, including a Gigabit Ethernet switch with 18 downlinks and 6 uplinks, a 10 Gigabit Ethernet module with 18 downlinks and 8 uplinks, a 40 Gb/sec InfiniBand switch with 36 ports, a Fibre Channel and pass-through blades to link out to storage arrays outside of the blade chassis.

The BX400 S1 costs €3,275, with the floor-stand adapter kit to turn it into a skateboarding teenager costing another €875. The switches run anywhere from a low of €2,050 for the Gigabit Ethernet switch to a high of €15,200 for an 18/8 port Fibre Channel switch from Brocade Communications. The base BX922 S2 blade server costs €1,215 with a single processor and one disk, while the BX924 S2 will run you €1,350.

Fujitsu rules the SMB roost among x64 server suppliers in Europe and Japan, and it has done so for years by having very aggressively priced machines that make it hard for IBM, Dell, and HP to take over the market. The new MX130 S1 Micro Server is meant to chase companies who probably don't know what a server is and wonder why you can't just put files and applications on a network of PCs or use online services. (The answer is, you can do both of those things.)

Fujitsu Primergy MX130 Micro Server

Fujitsu's MX130 S1 Micro Server

The Fujitsu Micro Server is a single-socket baby server that can be equipped with three different processors from Advanced Micro Devices: a single-core 2.7 GHz Sempron 140 with 1 MB of cache, a two-core 2.8 GHz Athlon II X2 220 with 1 MB of cache, or a two-core 3.1 GHz Athlon II X2 255 with 2 MB of cache. The server has four DDR3 memory slots and supports 1 GB, 2GB, or 4 GB memory sticks; there's error correction on the memory, which is important in a server used in office environments. The machine has an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics card, three drive bays (two 2.5-inch and one 5.25-inch), two PCI-Express 2.0 slots (one x4 and one x16), an on-board RAID 1 controller, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Novell SUSE Linux, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are certified on the box. It costs €398 in a bare-bones configuration, which is a little bit more than the €310 that Fujitsu is charging for the Intel-based TX100 S1 entry tower server announced back in July 2009.

The Fujitsu MX130 S1 Micro Server has more oomph than the MicroServer that Hewlett-Packard debuted back in September. That HP machine is based on a dual-core 1.3 GHz Athlon II Neo N36L processor with 2 MB of on-chip cache. The HP MicroServer uses cheap 800 MHz DDR3 main memory, and has only two memory slots for a maximum of 8 GB (half what Fujitsu is offering as a peak capacity). The HP machine is better in that it has four pluggable, 2 TB, 3.5-inch SATA drive bays; it also has two PCI-Express slots, one x1 and one x16. The base HP MicroServer costs $329, but that is with 1 GB of memory and no disk; when you configure it up properly (4 GB of memory, a 2 TB disk, a DVD drive, and a remote access card), then you are talking about shelling out $1,575 for a baby server with very little oomph. HP is supporting Windows Server 2008 R2 and RHEL 5 on its baby box.

Fujitsu is taking orders for the MX130 S1 Micro Server now and says it will start shipping them later this month. ®

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