Rackable Steps up Enterprise Push With New Server

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Rackable Systems, which is best known for providing servers to large Internet companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Yahoo, is aiming for a bigger slice of the enterprise market with its new C2005 server released Tuesday.

Rackable said the build-to-order server is its "most versatile yet," meaning customers can configure the C2005 with the storage, I/O and processors that best suit their needs, be that for an enterprise database application or a specialized program for crunching search queries.

The options include a variety of motherboards based on microprocessors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, as well as several local storage options, including 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch solid-state drives.

Like many of its other systems, Rackable is pitching the C2005 as a highly dense and energy-efficient server. It uses the company's unusual half-depth design, which lets customers mount the servers back-to-back and cool them from a column of air in the center of a server rack, which Rackable says is more energy efficient.

Last year, Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon accounted for almost two thirds of Rackable's revenue, according to a regulatory filing. It is now trying to expand its share of the enterprise market.

"It is one of the key goals of the company to grow our customer base and the market we go after beyond the traditional Internet companies into areas like financial services companies, oil and gas, what you consider more enterprise-class customers," said Saeed Atashie, Rackable's senior director of server products

Its products compete with servers from Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun Microsystems, among others. Those companies have been stepping up their efforts to attract more business among Internet companies, and Rackable in turn is targeting their enterprise base.

The C2005 is a 2u server that can have up to five expansion slots for RAID controllers, 10G-bit Ethernet cards, and InfiniBand and fiber-channel host adapters. The management LCD can swing forward to expose a bay that can hold a single 3.5-inch hot-swap hard drive or two 2.5-inch hot-swap hard drives. A second modular area can house any of the following:

--Four 3.5-inch drives and one expansion slot

--Four 2.5-inch drives and three 3.5-inch drives and one expansion slot

--Eight 2.5-inch drives and five low-profile expansion slots

--Two 3.5-inch drives and five low-profile expansion slots

Rackable said the C2005 is suited for enterprise database and application servers, which often require expansion cards, as well as Internet businesses and HPC (high-performance computing) customers. Pricing starts from a few thousand dollars, Atashie said, but can increase considerably depending on the configuration.

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