Egenera Preps Two-Way, Itanium-Based Blades

The blade server maker says the system will be able to run in the same BladeFrame system as 32-bit, Xeon-based blades, allowing users to consolidate diverse applications on the same system.

Blade server maker Egenera Inc. is developing a two-way system powered by Intel Corp.s 64-bit Itanium processor.

Officials with the Marlboro, Mass., company announced the development plans Tuesday, saying its customers that run high-end databases and transaction-based applications will benefit from the performance and memory addressability offered by the chip.

They also said that when the Itanium-based Egenera Processing Blade is developed, it will be able to run in the same BladeFrame system as 32-bit, Xeon-based blades.

That will enable users to consolidate applications requiring different processors and memory configurations onto the same system, according to a company representative.

/zimages/6/28571.gifIntels Itanium and Xeon processors will share a common socket starting in 2007. Click here to read more.

No time frame for the release of the Itanium 2 systems has been set, a spokesperson said.

Egenera offers high-end "stateless" blades—no disks, just a processor and memory—coupled with virtualization software designed to give businesses a flexible IT infrastructure in a utility computing environment.

The company has been growing its hardware and software offerings over the past four years, most recently releasing a four-way system based on Intels 3GHz Xeon MP processor earlier this month.

In February, the company picked Robert Dutkowsky, former CEO of software vendor J.D. Edwards & Co., as its chief executive. Last month, Egenera registered with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the first steps toward an initial public offering.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here for an interview with Dutkowsky on the companys direction.

Intel has been aggressive in pushing its Itanium processor into denser form factors. Hewlett-Packard Co. last month announced it was developing an Itanium-based blade to complement blade servers its building that are powered by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit Opteron processor.

HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., also will put the new Nocona chip—a Xeon processor with 64-bit extensions—into some of its ProLiant blade systems.

NEC Solutions America Inc., of Rancho Cordova, Calif., announced last month that it will start shipping the Express5800/1200Ba, a two-way blade server powered by Intels upcoming Itanium 2 9M chip, in September.

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking pro-tocols for the enterprise and small businesses.