Hitachi PC Wades Into Domestic PC Server Market

The domestic PC server market got a new competitor this week with the entry of Hitachi PC (Milpitas, Calif., Until now, Hitachi PC, a U.S. subsidiary of electronics giant Hitachi Ltd. (Tokyo,, has concentrated on notebook computers.

"Now that we’ve gotten our feet wet with our strategy of mobilized computing, it seemed reasonable and logical to extend our product offerings to what people connect to on the other side of that line," says Michael Krieger, Hitachi PC’s vice president of servers.

While the Hitachi servers are tested for compatibility with Unix and NetWare environments, they are optimized for Windows NT and only the Microsoft Corp. operating system is installed on the machines, Krieger says. Drawing on the experience of other Hitachi subsidiaries making servers in Japan and mainframes in the United States, Hitachi PC is initially launching two product lines on Oct. 1, Krieger says.

The high-end VisionBase 8460 is a 4-way machine aimed at servers from IBM Corp., Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. The system uses 400 MHz Pentium II Xeon processors, each with 512 KB of second-level cache, up to 8 GB of main memory and includes six 32-bit and five 64-bit PCI slots.

Hitachi PC is positioning its low-end VisionBase 8240 2-way machine against the "white boxes" generally assembled by channels, says Krieger. The 8240 uses the same Xeon chip as the 8460 with up to 1 GB of main memory and 4 PCI slots.

Both lines are floor-standing units with redundancy in cooling and power supply and hot-swap RAID disk storage. Krieger says the servers will also come with an NT-optimized management system that provides pre-failure notification for deteriorating parts and the ability to remotely reboot other computers on the network.

Hitachi PC plans to roll out several new server models later this year and early next year. -- Scott Bekker, Staff Reporter

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.