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Intel Points Its Partners Toward SMBs

Intel projects solid growth ahead for both servers and desktop systems in the SMB segment, offering resellers a major opportunity to replace an aging installed base and satisfy emerging demand for new applications. That was the semiconductor giant's message at its presentation Tuesday at VARBusiness' XChange conference in Chicago.

In the server arena, Intel predicts strong demand for both its Xeon commodity servers and its Itanium 2 high-end platforms. At the same time, it sees the server arena splitting into three distinct segments as traditional pedestal systems are upstaged by the increasingly popular blade and rack-mounted platforms.

"When platforms begin to segment like this, it's a great opportunity for the channel to differentiate themselves and extend their growth," Eric Thompson, channel marketing manager for Intel Americas, told the audience.

Specifically, Thompson said demand will be focused "primarily in the rack-optimized space, with blades beginning to ramp up in late 2004 and early 2005, while pedestal servers remain relatively flat."

Demand will be driven by customer requirements for beefed up storage, security functions, Web services and e-mail servers, Thompson said.

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