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AMD has extended its Validated Server Programme to Europe, expanding contract manufacturer Celestica's contract to build white-box Opteron-based servers that European system builders, VARs and system integrators can rebadge and sell.

The programme centres on offering two- and four-way machines built around Opteron 200 and 800 series CPUs, respectively.

Essentially, the programme allows system suppliers to offer Opteron-based equipment without having to go to all the hassle of designing, building and testing it themselves. While firms like these might go to Far Eastern contract manufacturers for off-the-shelf unbranded desktop and notebooks PCs, server customers often require kit with a more detailed provenance, ensuring that all the components are guaranteed to work together.

Intel has been doing this kind of thing for years, and in the past has built quite a profitable business out of it. AMD is sharing the business with Celestica, rather than trying to build machines and fulfil orders itself, but the principle's the same.

And while support for Opteron among system suppliers remains limited, it makes sense for AMD to offer pre-configured and barebones systems backed by maintenance and support options to make it easier for them to adopt its technology. Suppliers can focus on differentiating their offerings through software and service rather than hardware.

"European system builders will be free from manufacturing, shipping and supporting systems and can now offer AMD Opteron processor-based servers while focusing their energy on the value added services they bring to end users through systems customised to their market. The program with Celestica and its partners will also help deliver a full array of after-sale services," said AMD Europe's director of business development, Gianluca Degliesposti, almost but not quite repeating verbatim the words of Marty Seyer, VP and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit, in a statement put out when the company launched the programme in the US last June.

The programme will initially offer two servers in both barebones and fixed configurations: a four-way capable rack-server, the 4U/4P A8440 based on the Opteron 800 series, and a two-way capable rack-server, the 1U/2P A2210 based on the Opteron 200 series. Both products are immediately available in Europe via distributor Avnet. ®

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