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HP introduces dual-processor blade servers

Hewlett-Packard has introduced dual Pentium blade servers, a move analysts view as a natural extension of the single-processor blade servers brought to market by Compaq in January.

HP's new ProLiant BL20p dual processor servers come with 4Gbytes of SDRAM memory and up to 144Gbytes of internal storage. Prices start at $2,539 (£1,665). Sally Stevens, director of marketing for the density optimised server division of HP said the company plans to further extend its blade product line in the first quarter of 2003 with a four-processor blade server.

Blade servers are essentially complete servers on a tightly packed board that can squeeze more processing power into a standard server rack than older generation rack-mounted servers.

Stevens said the new dual processor blade servers are designed to support applications such as Web hosting and streaming media. The company's single-processor servers support security applications such as DNS and DHCP firewalls, while the four blade servers will be able to handle back-end databases.

Gordon Haff, an analyst at Illuminata, said HP's new dual processor servers represent an "evolution" of the HP blade server product line, adding "in many respects blades are an evolution of rack-mounted servers".

Last week Dell Computer said that it plans to launch a line of modular blade servers next year that allow customers to mix and match processors, memory and I/O devices. A spokesman for the company said this approach would reduce cabling and operational costs while providing customers with greater flexibility.

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