Server Snapshots: Gateway E-9232T
The E-9232T tower server from Gateway is designed with the small business market in mind. It would be a good choice, for example, for a small business purchasing its first server or for a remote office. The E-9232T is also backed up with enough support options for companies that just don't want the hassle of dealing with IT functions.
|From SMEs considering their first server purchase to remote offices adding another box, there's something for everyone in Gateway's latest 1-processor system.|
"The Gateway E-9232T has a choice of AMD processors, advanced remote system management capabilities built in to every board and optional RAID 5," says Marc Tanguay, senior group manager for servers and storage at Gateway. "With excellent performance and advanced system management, the E-9232T offers benefits typically not found in an entry-level system."
This model replaces the E-9220T. The main differences are an upgraded processor and greater serviceability. The latter shift is aimed at tempting small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) that tend to cling to desktops despite the obvious advantages of simple local networks.
For many, this is because when an organization moves from desktop to server IT challenges can mushroom. Many smaller shops just can't or don't want to deal with the fallout. Even larger SMEs are reluctant to add a full-time IT administrator to the payroll.
"Even with the appeal of the latest network technology, the lack of full-time IT staff can make it hard for smaller companies to step up to the investment," said IDC analyst Ray Boggs. "The availability and affordability of new servers like the E-9232T can provide a powerful alternative to desktop approaches, letting smaller firms gain access to network capabilities for the first time."
This Gateway box is a 1-processor server. Users have the choice of a dual-core AMD Opteron 1000 Series processor or a single-core AMD Athlon 64 processor 3500+. The E-9232T comes with up to 8 GB of memory capacity. This is supplied via four memory sockets on the motherboard supporting 667MHz DDR2 unbuffered ECC SDRAM.
On the networking side, the E-9232T has dual integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) NICs, support for NIC teaming, auto-failover and load balancing. In addition, it comes with a decent number of PCIe and PCI-X slots.
Up to four 3.5-inch SATA II hard drives provide storage. Overall capacity can stretch up to 3.0 TB if 750 GB drives are deployed. 80 GB, 250 GB and 500 GB drives are also available. They run at 7200 RPM.
"Our base configuration comes with one 80 GB SATA drive," says Tanguay. "We are also rolling out SAS drives in the next 30 days."
At that time, customers will be able to mix and match SAS and SATA in the same box. Those wanting high capacity will opt for SATA, those requiring more performance will prefer SAS, and others will mix their applications between SAS and SATA. An integrated quad port SATA II/300 controller is included to support RAID 1, 5, 6 and 10 for greater redundancy and data integrity. Further, Tanguay predicts the server will be available with 1 TB SATA drives and 450 GB SAS drives later this year.
The E-9232T comes standard with a single 400-watt power supply. However, in keeping with Gateway's desire to make the machine more robust, a redundant power supply option is also available. It consists of two 500W hot-swap, load-sharing power supply modules.
"The two areas with the highest likelihood of failure in any server are power and hard drives," says Tanguay. "As such failures would be devastating in a small business server, we have taken steps to minimize any potential downtime in the E-9232T."
Perhaps the biggest improvements come in the area of maintenance and support. Gateway Lights Out (GLO) system management allows customers to remotely shut down and restart servers regardless of power condition. An optional remote control keyboard/video/mouse (K/V/M) with media redirect features enables IT managers to take full remote control of a server.
"SME's often outsource IT services to a VAR," says Tanguay. "The E-9232T can be reset, restarted and handled remotely so small businesses can leave routine fixes to others without the need for much in the way of on-site support.
Gateway backs up its product with Gateway Professional Services. SMEs can contract with the OEM to address network planning and implementation, backup and disaster recovery, data and application migration, server virtualization, and other services. Anyone using these services receives rapid on-site support.
Gateway has also made it simpler for those who prefer to do it themselves. Color-coded components and a tool-less chassis and motherboard make in-house maintenance relatively easy.
Pricing starts at $699 for the AMD Athlon 64-processor-based system and $999 for the Opteron-powered version. A range of options are available that can swell the final price tag beyond $3,000. For $2,418, you get a dual-core Opteron 1216 processor (2.4 GHz), 4 GB memory, 2 x 750 SATA drive and one year of onsite support.
SME and branch offices in education, government and general business are the target market for this server. The E-9232T is particularly suited as a first server for the SOHO, SMB space.
"The sweet spot is 50 users and under, though it can also do well as a multifunction server or as a test server for IT managers as it runs much quieter than competitive products."
|Dimensions||Basic dimensions are 16.5" H by 8" W by 19.79" D, with a weight of around 36 pounds. Depth and weight may vary, depending on options|
|Processor Details||One AMD Athlon64 or dual-core Opteron 1000 Series processor|
|Hard Drives||Up to four SATA drives|
|Operating Systems||Windows 2003, various flavors|
|Configuration Options||One 2.2 GHz Athlon64 processor, 512 MB RAM, one 80 GB SATA drive for $699
Similar base configuration with one 1.8 GHz dual-core Opteron for $999
2.4 GHz dual-core Opteron, 4 GB memory, two 750GB SATA drives for $2,418