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Acer Takes On Server/Storage Powerhouses

With 2009 revenues of $17.9 billion, Acer is best known as a major player in the global PC market, but, in what the company calls a long-term commitment, its U.S. subsidiary is entering the commodity server and storage markets with a full lineup of products to be sold exclusively by resellers and the distribution channel. Acer America is targeting small to midsize businesses and high-performance computing applications with rack, blade and multinode solutions based on Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors, along with a variety of storage solutions from Hitachi Data Systems.

The 16-server product blitz includes the one- and two-processor Acer tower server (AT) lineup, the four-CPU Acer rack server (AR) line, the 2U form-factor rack multinode server (Gemini AW series) line, and the Acer blade server (AB) line with shared power, integrated Ethernet and Infiniband options. Prices will range from about $700 (AT) to $3,500 (Gemini AW series).

On the storage front, the HDS offerings will consist of the HNAS, AMS, AS and AN series, prices for which will start at about $10,500. Unlike with the server systems, resellers of the storage offerings will have to be authorized because of the systems' greater complexity, says Acer.

In addition to its "unique" channel-only model, the company says it will further differentiate itself from its major competitors--HP and Dell--by offering much lower-cost server options. Acer says it will offer 40 percent lower prices on average for things like memory, drives and RAID controllers.

The company says it understands it faces an uphill battle, stating that while the opportunity is large, its expectations are low. It understands it needs to maintain this level of investment for some time.

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