Analysts have welcomed the new server architecture from hardware giant Dell based on high performance dual processor server "blades" using Intel's Pentium III chips.
As well as unveiling plans to broaden its line of Poweredge servers with blade technology, Dell also revealed its strategy for introducing next generation, larger "brick" servers.
The new modular systems are aimed at high-end applications such as database computing and customer relationship management, and combine the flexibility of blades with the power of traditional enterprise servers.
Mark Melenovsky, research manager at analyst firm IDC, said, "Dell's strategy for blades and bricks addresses the market demand for a more cost-effective and modular infrastructure."
Dell's modular computing strategy is focused on key customer requirements, with features that integrate easily into existing environments, Melenovsky explained.
Blades are designed to offer a scalable solution for users, as well as lowering the cost of enterprise computing at sites where space to expand is at a premium.
Other hardware companies have already launched blade technology for their own server ranges.
In January, Compaq launched its Proliant BL e-class server blades, such as the Proliant BL10e, which contains a single Intel ultra-low voltage Pentium III processor.
Dell's initial blade offering is the Poweredge 1655MC, which can accommodate up to six server blades. Executives at Dell claimed that the 1655MC offers dramatically increased density and simplified server management, making it ideal for server consolidation, thin-client computing and high-performance clustering.
Each server blade comes with up to two 1.26GHz Intel Pentium III processors, and as much as 2Gbytes of memory. Server blades can also reduce rack space requirements by up to 50% and cabling by more than 80%, said Dell executives.
At the high-end, Dell also unveiled the Poweredge 6600 and Poweredge 6650 servers, which employ Intel's Xeon multi-processors. Designed for corporate datacentres, these are Dell's flagship tower and rack-optimised enterprise servers.