RealTime IT News

Are You Dense? Intel, Compaq Are Proud to Be

Compaq Computer Corp. and Intel Corp. Monday embarked on a partnership targeting IT customers who seek low power consumption, and increased density in their front-end servers.

Financial terms of the co-marketing and engineering deal were not revealed, but the No. 2 computer maker will use the chipmaker's ultra low-voltage (ULV) processors (code-named Tualatin) as part of its pending hyper-dense ProLiant server architecture (code named QuickBlade), slated for later this year.

As has been the case industry-wide, the call for increased Net infrastructure for scaling purposes has called additional servers into action particularly for tasks such as streaming media, caching and the ever-important firewall protection.

Accordingly, more servers mean more real estate and power costs (think of the space and additional energy required for more servers). To combat this, companies have been tapping hardware specialists to make server platforms with improved density, cost per transaction and power usage requirements.

Compaq and Intel, with this agreement, would deign to answer the bell. The firms will work to free up some floor space for their customers and increase server performance, as well as reduce power consumption. Basically, the hyper-dense, or ultra-sense servers, as they are often called, may be stacked together to conserve room in data centers -- that is what Compaq's pending QuickBlade line of servers is geared toward.

To date, Intel is the king in the dense server market, and most major hardware makers, Compaq included, have chosen Intel's chips over rivals Transmeta and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD). IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have also been working on similar methods of thinner-than-thou server racks.

"As companies require powerful racks of front-end servers that conserve power consumption while increasing server density, Intel Architecture will be able to meet these needs," said Mike Fister, vice president and general manager of Intel's Enterprise Platform Group.

To be sure, the union of Intel and Compaq gives each company strength against their enemies. While Intel's place at the table of ultra-dense servers seems all but reserved by hardware developers, Compaq is still jousting with arch-rival Dell Computer Corp. for supremacy; Compaq lost the No. 1 personal computer maker position to Dell during the first quarter of 2001.

And like Intel and AMD, the two titans are currently engaged in a price war. Dell has said it will be merciless in managing costs and will consider more layoffs to keep its current top spot and seize additional market share from Compaq.