Intel Corp. wants to make it easier for OEMs to build systems based on its processor platforms.
The Santa Clara, Calif., giant chip maker on Monday is unveiling its Enterprise Server Acceleration Alliance, or ESAA. Intel is partnering with software and hardware vendors to develop precertified Intel architecture platforms that OEMs can use in developing their systems.
"We want to help OEMs reduce the barriers they might have today," said Jeff Richardson, general manager of Intels Enterprise Platforms and Services Division.
Right now, manufacturers that want to incorporate particular software and hardware into their Intel architecture-based designs—in this case, those using the Xeon or 64-bit Itanium processors—must submit those systems to those vendors for certification, increasing the cost and time needed to get these systems to market, Richardson said.
Having access to precertified products will make it easier for OEMs to build these servers, which means end users will see a broader array of new systems released more quickly and at reduced prices, Richardson said.
"End users are looking for more complete solutions and looking to OEMs to provide that," he said. "Were enabling OEMs to create more cost-effective solutions."
The first vendors to participate in the ESAA are focused on storage and switches (EMC Corp. and InfiniCon Inc.), databases and virtualization (Oracle Corp. and VMware Inc.), and backup (Quantum Corp.). That list will grow in the coming months, Richardson said.
Joseph Yaworski, InfiniCons vice president of field operations and program management, said the program will give OEMs a "bill of materials" they can use to build their Intel-based systems. InfiniCon, of King of Prussia, Pa., will work with Intel in certifying its InfiniBand interconnect products, which are used primarily in the high-performance computing and database spaces, he said.
The first ESAA-approved configurations from the collaboration between Intel and InfiniCon will come out later this month, targeted at the HPC field, where both InfiniBand and Intel-based systems are gaining traction.
"InfiniBand has been a very important enabling technology in the HPC space," Yaworski said.
Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at http://infrastructure.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.