Dell Offers Servers, Software and Service

Tuesday Oct 26th 2004 by Lauren Simonds
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Emphasizing low cost, ease of use and IT support, Dell pitches new servers designed for SMBs.

Addressing the technology issues that SMBs face every day &#151 no IT support, small budgets and ever-increasing technology demands, Dell announced two new servers and special services designed to help small businesses stay competitive.

According to Dell, the PowerEdge SC420 and SC1420 offer SMBs flexibility in both price and capability. Billing the SC420 as "a small business's first server," the company says that small business owners can set up and run this server network easily and for less than $500.

PowerEdge SC 420
Designed for flexibility, the SC420 can be configured to a company's needs. You can run a basic server with five to 10 users sharing files and printers and build from there by adding e-mail messaging and Internet capability. The $499 price is a starting point. Adding various options &#151 like operating system software or more memory &#151 increases the price tag.

You can go to Dell's Value Tower Server page and play with the various configurations to see exactly how much the SC420 you need will cost.

We ran a couple of permutations. For example, a low-end configuration suitable of a small business ready to take on its first server would probably include a Celeron processor, 1 GB of memory (Dell's recommended minimum), two 40 GB SATA hard drives, and a basic one-year tech support plan costs $937. Now add the operating system, in this case Windows 2003 Small Business Server, Standard Edition, and you pay $1,466.

Choosing a configuration with high-end specs (Pentium 4 processor, 4GB memory, two 146GB SCSI hard drives in RAID1, a premium three-year tech support plan, Windows 2003 Small Business Server, Standard Edition, documentation, monitor, mouse, tape backup, three years of disaster recovery service and assorted other goodies, brought the price to $8,596.

PowerEdge SC1420Dell starts pricing the PowerEdge SC1420 at $799. According to Dell, the SC1420 is designed for high performance and expandability and comes with management tools that intended to make the installation faster and easier.

We ran a basic, low-end configuration and came up with a price of $1,088, which includes a single 2.8GHz Xeon processor, 1 GB memory, two 40GB SATA hard drives in RAID 1, and a 48X CD-ROM drive. Adding Windows 2003 Small Business Server, Standard Edition increases the price to $1,587.

Our high-end configuration included two Xeon processors, 6GB of memory, both a floppy drive and a CD-RW/DVD drive, three-year premium support services, custom installation services, data recovery services three 146GB SCSI hard drives in RAID 5, tape backup and software. Total cost: $12,445.

The SC1420 can expand to include two 3.4GB Xeon processors, up to 8GB of memory and a maximum of 1TBof internal storage &#151 providing more than ample room for a small business to grow and still handle all the server tasks necessary.

Services
Dell offers SMBs both standard and premium service and support plans. According to the company, you can choose from set-up support during initial configuration, priority 24x7 phone and online help, on-site service, training and certification programs and disaster recovery backup. Pricing starts at $289.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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