Aberdeen Server Uses Brute Force To Tackle High-End Apps

Solution providers serving smaller businesses often feel compelled to recommend underpowered servers to meet low price points. These same solution providers often have to opt for oversized units to handle

August 19, 2005

3 Min Read
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Solution providers serving smaller businesses often feel compelled to recommend underpowered servers to meet low price points. These same solution providers often have to opt for oversized units to handle demanding power-hungry enterprise applications.

Aberdeen’s Stonehaven A381 is a brute of a server housed in a tidy 3U package. It is small enough and affordable enough for smaller businesses, yet powerful enough to tackle the most cutting-edge applications.

Stonehaven A381 is well-suited to act as a high-performance technical and scientific computing server or as a heavily burdened enterprise system. In fact, solution providers can configure this server to meet the needs of most customers.

The rackmount server features two 64-bit dual-core AMD Opteron processors, which start at 1.4GHz with a 1-Mbyte cache. Dual-core technology places two processing cores on a single die, so that a two-way server can perform as a four-way unit. The technology is of great benefit for multithreaded applications, which are quite common in the server and workstation space.

Storage space is another big concern with cutting-edge applications, and here, too, the Stonehaven A381T promises much. It can provide up to 4 Tbytes of storage space when loaded with eight 500-Gbyte SATA-II hard drives. Hitachi’s Deskstar 7K500 is currently the only 500-Gbyte disk drive available featuring the new 3-Gbps SATA-II interface; these should be used when the 4-Tbyte array needs to be as fast as possible. If SCSI drives are required, the Stonehaven A381T can be fitted with more than 2 Tbytes of SCSI storage.All Aberdeen-configured servers come with an optional SCSI port that can accommodate up to three 8-Tbyte RAID arrays for a total of 24 Tbytes of additional storage.

Regardless of the type of hard drives used, the Stonehaven A381T uses ECC DDR400 memory, expandable to 16 Gbytes. It also includes dual Gigabit NICs and a 760-watt redundant power supply. There’s even room for an optional internal dual-height tape drive if needed.

Depending on the configuration, the Stonehaven A381T can be had for as little as $3,000. Of course, a loaded system costs more. A configuration with a 4-Tbyte RAID array is priced at $8,495. Included in that price are two 1.8GHz dual-core 64-bit AMD Opteron processors with a 1-Gbyte cache, 1 Gbyte of ECC DDR 400 memory, eight 500-Gbyte Hitachi Deskstar 7K500 SATA-II hard drives, an eight-port SATA-II RAID controller, two Gigabit Ethernet controllers and one 10/100 NIC. The system also comes with a triple-redundant 760-watt hot-swappable power supply, four 10-centimeter fans, two 4-centimeter fans and an external SCSI port for adding tape devices or additional RAID arrays.

For expansion purposes, the motherboard contains three PCI-X slots and three 64-bit PCI slots. The server comes with a five-year warranty on parts and labor. The $8,495 price tag does not include an operating system. Red Hat Linux ES 4.0 costs an additional $789, while Windows Server 2003 with a five-user license costs $755. The same server with just a 2-Tbyte RAID array costs $5,959.

Under Aberdeen’s single-level channel program, resellers realize average margins of 20 percent to 25 percent, although they don’t get a discount off Aberdeen’s Web site prices. Instead, resellers buy from Aberdeen and mark up the sale to the end user however they wish.Resellers are qualified based on their business model. The main benefits of Aberdeen’s program include assistance with sales, product information, customer service, toll-free technical support, RMAs and accounting. Sales and marketing support includes collateral materials and consultation.

Aberdeen offers a free 30-day trial assessment program. Under the effort, resellers configure a server to meet their requirements and agree to accept delivery of it under pre-approved terms. A fully assembled and tested server will be delivered for evaluation for almost a full month. At the end of the evaluation period, the reseller can pay for and keep the server or send it back to Aberdeen at no charge. This is a risk-free way for resellers to make sure a server meets a customer’s needs before charging them for it.

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