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Intel Proposes New Microserver Standard

Intel Proposes New Microserver Standard

This past September, Intel introduced the innovative concept of “tiny microservers.” Just two months later, the world renowned chip maker wants to transform this design into a standard that can be used by others as well. Jason Waxman, General Manager of Intel’s high-density computing group, said in a recent announcement that the company will be offering the design specification to the Server System Infrastructure Forum by the end of this year. According to Waxman, if the Forum votes in favor of the specification, group members will then be able to use the designs royalty-free.

Dived by Designs and Open Standards

For years now, the computer industry has been divided on the issue of proprietary designs and open standards that can be used by anyone. As long as the technology is widely embraced and adopted, the proprietary approach can result in hefty profits for the company that owns the design. However, open standards can lead to a faster and broader adoption of the technology. Being that selling processors is Intel’s main line of business, it benefits more from the open approach in terms of cultivating a new segment of the server market.

So what industry is best suited for Intel’s new microserver standard? In the eyes of Waxman, this new specification will appeal to the web hosting business, particularly companies that have a need for a large number of web servers to support low to moderately traffic websites. Waxman touched on how servers in most hosting environments just lie dormant. While low power hardware is a crucial factor in a scenario where the servers are idle, he noted that when traffic does roll in, it must have the ability to respond quickly.

New Products – Same Sales Pitch

Ironically, Intel’s sales pitch is quite similar the first generation of blade servers that were introduced early in the decade. Despite all the hype, these servers were largely unsuccessful on a commercial level and eventually phased out by more expensive, advanced and powerful models. This time however, Waxman emphasizes that Intel microservers are simple yet offer an acceptable level of performance, enough to cater to the demand of web hosting companies seeking low-end, low power hardware.

Intel’s new server design consists of a single 1.86 Ghz quad-core chip and four memory banks, with 16 microservers housed within an 8.75 inch high chassis that supplies each with power, cooling and connectivity to the rest of the outside world. Located along the bottom is a bay that has 16 slots, each equipped with enough room for a trio of 2.5 inch hard drives that connect directly to each individual microserver. Although the existing power consumption of the Lynnfield model from Intel’s Nehalem generation of processors tops out at 45 watts, the company plans to release a dual core processor based on its Clarksdale line that only consumes 30 watts. Intel reports that this version will be out sometime early 2010. Its ultimate goal is to not only bring down the power envelop of the processor, but the entire microserver to 25 watts.

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    9th December 2009
    Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Web Hosting News

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