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HP Plans ATCA Telecom Blade

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) is set to finally make its entry into the market for telecom blade servers, following months of speculation about the company's long-term strategy (see 64-Bit Blades Battle and HP Launches Blade, Telecom Program).

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm today announced plans to launch an Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) processor-based, telecom-specific blade server next year. At this stage, HP is unwilling to set a specific date for the birth of the new blade, although a spokeswoman confirmed to NDCF that it will be available in both 32- and 64-bit configurations.

But archrival IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has already established a presence in this part of the market, launching its BladeCenter-T product back in March. Since then, the company has also unveiled a package of pre-bundled blade server software and set out to attract new partners (see IBM's BladeServer Blitz, IBM Flashes Its Blade, and IBM & Motorola Brandish Blades).

However, HP hopes to steal a march on its rival by basing its yet-to-be-named blade on the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA), an emerging industry standard. IBM, on the other hand, has taken its own approach by encouraging equipment vendors to conform to the BladeCenter-T's underlying architecture. This includes networking switches, adapter cards, and communications blades for enterprise networks (see IBM, Intel Open BladeCenter Specs).

An IBM spokeswoman told NDCF earlier today that AdvancedTCA "is just one way" to tackle the many demands of the telecom industry and promised that the hardware giant will be making some significant blade server announcements of its own in the near future.

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