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New user lab set up by IBM, Microsoft and Intel

IBM, Intel and Microsoft have teamed up to create a new facility in Washington, USA, where customers can test their applications on IBM xSeries servers.

Users will be able to use the facility to test how well tasks such as server consolidation can be accomplished on IBM's xSeries Intel-based servers running Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

The companies will also bring in independent software vendors, including JD Edwards, SAP and SAS Institute, to help with the free testing process.

"This lab's primary focus is to allow customers to come in and work with [IBM's xSeries servers] and really work on doing proof-of-concept solutions," said Brian Sanders, manager of IBM eServer xSeries. "This gives customers a great leg up by providing them with labs staffed with extremely technical people."

IBM has used some high-end technology previously found only in mainframes down to its Intel-based servers. This includes the Enterprise X-Architecture (EXA) chipset to improve the reliability and performance of Intel servers.

Customers will have access to a wide range of IBM xSeries servers from one and two processor systems up to a 16-processor server IBM plans to ship later this year.

They will also be able to use IBM servers built with Intel's 64-bit Itanium 2 processor. IBM plans to ship the x450 server later year with between 4 and 8 Itanium 2 chips.

IBM's sales force can nominate customers for visiting the facility and taking part in the testing process. The company expects to have enough systems, space and engineers to help 3 or 4 customers at a time, Sanders said.

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