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Intel unveils modular server tools

Targeted at smaller businesses, the new building blocks endorse recently-announced industry specifications for modular server platforms.
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Written by Vivian Yeo on

Intel today launched a set of modular-server building blocks for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and resellers to incorporate into servers designed for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

The worldwide offering provides the first set of building blocks based on blade server design specifications released last July by the Server Systems Infrastructure Forum group, which is spearheaded by the chipmaker.

William Wu, Intel's Asia-Pacific marketing manager for server platforms, told ZDNet Asia that the set of modular-server building blocks is a "bare-bone system", with the finished server product branded by the channels, not Intel.

Intel's local OEM partners and channel resellers in the region include HCL and Wipro in India, Teratec in Korea, MPP in Thailand, and FPT in Vietnam.

Referring to research from AMI-Partners, Intel said global SMB server spend this year will grow at a double-digit rate over 2007 to reach US$19.8 billion. The company added that the whitebox or non-branded server market is a promising segment for system builders.

"This is a significant development for the channel, as whitebox server market represents one of the most rewarding and fast-growing business opportunities," Wu said in an e-mail interview. "Server systems provide a unique opportunity for the channel to get closer to the core IT infrastructure of their customers, making them a more trusted partner."

According to Intel, the server blocks can support up to six server nodes and 14 serial attached SCSI when integrated into a complete system. Such server systems will also offer integrated SAN (storage attached network), two Ethernet switch modules, and a management module. The server compute nodes are capable of supporting Intel's latest quad- and dual-core Xeon processors in a two-socket motherboard.

The server pricing will ultimately be decided by the local OEM or reseller offering the end-product to the customer, said Wu.

"Typically we expect [such] products to be priced at a comparable rate to the dual-processor rack-mount servers of similar configurations available in the market," he added.

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