Dell has launched five servers aimed at small businesses and remote offices. The company claimed that the new products would be easier to deploy and manage than its existing servers.

The company announced the Dell PowerEdge 1900, 860, 840, SC1430 and SC440 servers, which use dual-core Intel Xeon processors to increase their performance and power efficiency. The servers, which are suited for file serving, email and databases, can ship with Microsoft Small Business Server R2 and Dell's OpenManage systems management software preinstalled.

Megan Duckett, owner of Sew What?, a drapery manufacturer in California, uses a single-processor PowerEdge 860 running Windows Server 2003 R2 and Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise Edition.

"Some years back we moved into a Dell tower server and now have had the opportunity to try the next-generation PowerEdge 860," Duckett says. "The speed and responsiveness of the PowerEdge 860 has allowed our sales staff to jump back and forward between forms and pull up information even faster than they were able to previously" with the PowerEdge 500SC server.

According to Laurie McCabe, vice president of AMI Research, the small business server market is booming. This market, which consists of 6.2 billion companies with one to 100 employees, spent US$98 billion on IT products and services in 2006.

"It is very challenging for these businesses to manage this increasing dependence on IT for a few basic reasons," McCabe says. "Three-quarters of them have less than 10 employees and less than $10 million in annual revenue. Almost half of them lack any type of dedicated IT staff."

The PowerEdge 1900 is a dual-socket tower server that features dual-core Xeon 5100 processors; it is more than 200 percent faster than previous generation servers and aimed at businesses with more than 10 employees. It fits into the Enhanced family of small business servers along with the dual-processor PowerEdge 2900 and 1800. The server features an embedded network adapter with TCP/IP offload for improved performance.

The PowerEdge 840 also is a tower-based server with dual-core Xeon 3000 processors that has Serial-attached SCSI and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) storage attachments. It is designed for remote offices and small businesses with as many as 10 employees and is part of Dell's Essential family of servers, which includes the new PowerEdge SC1430, SC1420, the new SC440 and the SC430.

The PowerEdge SC1430 and PowerEdge SC440 are aimed at file and print sharing, email and web or other applications. The SC1430 uses dual-core Xeon 5100 processors.

The PowerEdge 860 is a 1U (5.5cm) high server that also features Xeon 3000 series processors. It is an entry-level server designed for web serving and infrastructure applications. Like the PowerEdge 840 it features SAS and SATA storage technology.

The Dell PowerEdge 1900, 840, 860, SC1430 and SC440 servers are priced between $599 and $1,400.