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IBM Ups Server Ante

In just the first six weeks of this year, IBM has refreshed its entire server line, from "i to z." New offerings in the vendor's four key computing platforms--from x86-based blades to mainframes--start hitting the channel this month.

With new releases of its iSeries, pSeries and xSeries servers, and a new accelerator for its zSeries mainframe, IBM is focusing its server efforts on multicore processing, improved density and innovative power utilization and cooling technologies.

Perhaps the vendor's most notable debut, however, will be its next-generation BladeCenter Servers, which promise to up the ante for server flexibility.

The forthcoming BladeCenter H, due out this month with a starting price of $3,849, will allow blades with different processors to be interchanged.

"The focus on the data center is going to be about simplification," says Bill Zeitel, senior vice president and group executive of IBM's Systems & Technology Group. The interchangeability of the new BladeCenter is a key feature, according to Brad Day, an analyst at Forrester.

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