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Egenera nabs $30 million in funding

The company, which makes high-end blade servers based on Intel processors, is getting ready to announce that it has raised $30 million in funding.

Egenera, a specialist in high-end blade servers, has raised $30 million in a fourth round of funding, the company expects to announce on Monday.

Technology Crossover Ventures led the round, in which Egenera "significantly" increased its total valuation, the server maker said on Friday. Egenera has raised a total of $124 million so far.

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In addition, Rick Kimball, founding general partner of Technology Crossover Ventures, has joined Egenera's board, the company said.

Egenera's Intel processor-based systems, which cost tens of thousands of dollars, incorporate many features that are growing popular as the utility-computing concept sweeps through the information technology industry.

The BladeFrame systems contain multiple two- or four-processor servers. Through the use of an internal network and control system, tasks can be shuffled from one of these blades to another.

Key to this flexibility is a technology called virtualization, which separates running software from the hardware resources it uses. For example, an operating system can connect to an easily changed virtual interface instead of sending data directly to an actual storage system or network port.

Moving tasks from system to system is an important part of utility computing at companies such as IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. Utility computing demands that IT infrastructures be as flexible as possible, so that a pool of computing gear can adapt to changing workload requirements, to faulty hardware or to shifts in service quality standards.

Egenera's customers include America Online, Cambridge Health Alliance, Credit Suisse First Boston, Emory Healthcare, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, MChex and UFJ Group.