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IBM cooking up Intel server kit

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IBM is gearing up a pair of its high-end Intel-based servers for launch in the next couple of months.

IBM has replacements in waiting for its current Xeon x440 server and its Itanium (McKinley) x450 server. The new models follow along with IBM's naming-scheme of choice. Say, "Hello," to the x445 and x455 servers.

IBM executives have already talked up the x445 a fair bit, and sources say the system should be arriving any day now. The server will hold one to 32 of Intel's Xeon MP - Gallatin - processors. The x445 will have faster versions of the chip than the current 16 processor x440.

IBM is expected to beat the server consolidation drum hard with the x445, touting its relationship with virtual machine specialist VMware at launch.

The x455 will likely be announced when Intel delivers the third generation Itanium chip - Madison - in the next few weeks. IBM will talk up Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition operating system as a natural companion to the 64bit chip on announcement. Big Blue is expected to start selling the server a couple of months after the launch with SuSE Linux as an option as well.

The poor x450 enjoyed less than two months in the spotlight. The McKinely-based, four processor system lay dormant in IBM's labs for months before its release in early May.

IBM is expected to sell the x450 alongside the x455, and update the x450 with Madison chips. Although, IBM says demand for the x455 is much higher. ®

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