Intel unveils SME server building blocks

Company launches modular-server building blocks for OEMs and resellers to incorporate into servers designed for small, midsize firms.

Intel on Friday launched a set of modular-server building blocks for original equipment manufacturers and resellers to incorporate into servers designed for small- and medium-size enterprises.

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-bones system," with the finished server product branded by the channels, not Intel.

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

"This is a significant development for the channel, as the white-box server market represents one of the most rewarding and fast-growing business opportunities," Wu said. "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, 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, Wu said.

"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," Wu added.

Vivian Yeo of ZDNet Asia reported from Singapore.

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