NEC enters server space

NEC has entered the Canadian hardware and software market with business continuity and disaster recovery applications tailored for small and mid-sized companies.

Solutions Platform Group, a new division of NEC America, is responsible for the new products, which include servers (general purpose servers, fault tolerant servers and higher-end Itanium servers), storage (disk arrays that typically work in SAN environments) and software (application protection and high availability disaster recovery software).

Each can be purchased separately or bundled into specific configurations, said John Perring, a contractor for the Solutions Platform Group.

“They’re all part of a strategic push to supply the Canadian market with high availability and disaster recovery solutions,” he said. “And in the case of the Itanium product, that works more in line with server consolidation environments. It’s also very good at doing the number crunching that’s required in large database environments.”

Dual components
NEC’s fault-tolerant servers include two motherboards, two CPUs and multiple power supplies.

“This is great for businesses that can’t afford for their applications to be down,” Perring added. “This is literally throwing the box in, putting applications on there and getting the five nines (99.999 per cent) in availability for mission-critical applications.”

For the software component of the new lineup, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is offering the ExpressCluster WAN. This solution, said Perring, is hardware agnostic so businesses don’t necessarily have to run it on NEC equipment.

So far NEC has secured distribution through Avnet Solutions and Team One, a U.S.-based distributor that has distribution rights in Canada.

The company is actively seeking resellers here that understand the importance of providing the availability of mission-critical applications.

In conjunction with the new product announcement, NEC has also created an Express Partner Program for resellers interested in becoming an authorized Solutions Platform Group partner.

Michelle Warren, an analyst at Evans Research Corp., believes there is a big market for organizations to help SMBs recover data. “Looking at disaster recovery, what we do know is that not a lot of small businesses actually back up their information,” she said. “So targeting that market is a winning solution for organizations (like NEC) because it’s so robust.”

‘Opens the door’
Warren added that this technology opens the door for the channel to provide extra services on top of the hardware sale.

“Although the bulk of small business budgets are spent on hardware, services are a high revenue growth area for resellers. It’s a neat combination. It gives resellers an advantage in this market.”

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