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IBM licenses skinny server designs

Big Blue says it will use Network Engines' super-thin servers in its own line of Intel-based servers.

IBM has licensed the hardware and software of Network Engines' skinny servers, the companies announced yesterday.

The servers, each only 1.75-inches thick, can be stacked very densely to support high-powered Web sites. Those sites typically use lots of small, inexpensive servers to cope with the burden imposed by the huge numbers of Web surfers who can inundate a site. Network Engines WebEngine

The Network Engines technology will be used in IBM's Netfinity line of Intel-based servers, the companies said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

IBM is working on its own line of servers, code-named Pizzazz, that are designed to be stacked densely. However, those machines, due this fall, use IBM's Unix operating system and PowerPC chips and belong to the company's RS/6000 family.

Network Engines currently offers two thin servers, one for Embedded Windows NT operating system and the other for Red Hat Linux. Both use Intel Pentium II or Pentium III chips.

Network Engines, based in Randolph, Massachusetts, was founded in 1997.