While their timing may not seem the best considering the current state of the economy, NEC, the well known technology manufacturer based in Japan has entered the U.S. server market with a line of impressive new servers including the record setting NEC 5800/A1160. NEC is no new comer to the server market having offered systems in Japan for many years. They have also acted as OEM for several other well known server brands here in the U.S. At this past PASS I met with Mike Mitsch, General Manager of NEC’s Enterprise Server Division and then had a later briefing with Mike Heller, Senior Account Executive, Enterprise Servers who informed about some of NEC’s recent moves in the US server market. While they are well known in Japan NEC has only been offering servers in the U.S. since April of 2008.

At past PASS NEC announced that their NEC 5800/A1160, aka Monster Xeon Server, was the first server to achieve a mark of 1,400 tpsE on the TPC-E benchmark.  This benchmark was achieved using a 12 CPU (64-cores) NEC 5008/A1160 with 384 GB of RAM. The NEC system was running Windows Server 2008 Datacenter x64 and SQL Server 2008 Enterprise x64. The 5800/A1160 is one of the first enterprise systems to make use of the Intel’s new 6 core 7400 series of CPU’s (code named Dunnington).  The NEC 5800/A1160 system can scale from 1-node, 4-sockets, 16-cores, and 256 GB memory, to 4-nodes, 16-sockets, and 96-cores and 1TB memory.

The NEC server line uses only Intel CPUs. Notably, they also offer an Itanium-based 5800/1000 server which is something of rarity these days. The 5800/1000 supports dynamic hardware partitioning which allows hot add of processors and memory based on thresholds and policies of the running OS partition.

In addition, to their standard enterprise server line NEC also offers Fault Tolerant Servers like the NEC Express 5800/300 which offer full internal hardware redundancy and provides 99.999% system uptime. They also offer their line 5800/100 series of Blade Servers as well as the SMB oriented 3800/100 line of rack and tower servers.

While at present they aren’t well known here, NEC offers an enterprise ready server line that’s certainly comparable to IBM, HP and DELL. Look for a review of one of the NEC server in an upcoming issue of Windows IT Pro magazine. Untill then you can peruse the models in NECs new server line at: http://www.necam.com/servers/