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Egenera Adds Opteron To Blade Line

With the promise of expanding capabilities and options for users of blade servers, Egenera Inc. on Monday announced availability of its next-generation virtualization platform, as well as plans to offer blades based on Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron and Intel's Itanium processors.

"We try to remain operating-system agnostic, as well as chipset agnostic," says Vern Brownell, founder and chief technology officer of Egenera. "Our mantra is simply about reducing the complexity of the data center."

Egenera, which has previously offered Xeon-based server blades, will begin offering two-way and four-way AMD Opteron-based blades later this month, and plans to begin offering Itanium-based blades in the second quarter, says Susan Davis, VP of product marketing and management.

Egenera customers will be able to mix-and-match Xeon-, Opteron-, and Itanium-based blades within an environment to meet specific application requirements, she says. "We've seen quite a bit of demand for Opteron, both from customers in financial services, as well as others, who have done some benchmarking and found that for particular applications they find the characteristics of Opteron are particularly well suited," Davis says.

The company on Monday also announced general availability of Release 4.0 of its BladeFrame system, with an enhanced graphical user interface, and the ability to dynamically change server characteristics, she says. Based on Egenera's Processing Area Network architecture, Release 4.0 will let customers modify the configuration of a running server on the fly, including the removal or changing of Ethernet ports, disks, and DVD drives. The new release also more tightly integrates the relationship between BladeFrame and VMware Inc.'s GSX Server virtual-machine technology, Davis says, enabling improved automatic failover of virtual machines.

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