IBM and Intel have announced that they are working together on the design and development of blade servers.
Ultra-thin blade servers are designed to be stacked vertically or horizontally, like books on a bookshelf.
They are popular for delivering web pages or hosting firewalls because they use less floor space and electricity than traditional servers and can reduce costs by improving systems management and increasing reliability.
Intel and IBM said they plan to cooperate on blade system and chassis development, networking infrastructure and blade system management solutions.
IBM said it would provide the expertise in systems design, architecture and software, while Intel will contribute server building blocks including enterprise processors, chipsets, communications, silicon and server boards.
The servers will incorporate either Intel Xeon processors or Intel Xeon MP processors, as well as corresponding Intel-based server chipsets and networking technologies. Systems based on Itanium 2 processors are also expected in the future.
Bill Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive of IBM's Server Group, said: "We have in common a vision for blades as a key emerging platform for enterprise applications that will simplify e-business infrastructure as it reduces total costs."
IBM plans to launch its resulting products in the near future. Later this year, Intel plans to deliver blade servers based on the Xeon processor family, as well as blade chassis and related management software, to original equipment manufacturers.
The companies said they predicted enterprises would use modular, plug-in blade servers to run applications such as e-commerce, firewalls, clusters and email.
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