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Partners: Intel's Lynnfield A Strong Whitebox Play

New Nehalem-based products set up opportunities to push entry-level servers, appliances and desktop products ahead of Tier 1 OEMs.


The new lineup of Nehalem-class quad-core processors, code-named Lynnfield, comprises three new desktop chips -- including the first-ever Core i5 part -- and six Xeon 3400 series processors for entry-level servers.

Intel partners that will be fast out of the gate with new Lynnfield-based products include components maker Super Micro Computer and Tier 2 system builder Amax Information Technologies. Super Micro, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., already is shipping a new lineup of 1U server building blocks for Intel Xeon 3400 series-based systems, the company said Monday.

Super Micro has 10 new SuperServer models based on six new motherboards, including the high-density, 1016I-M6F SKU that supports up to eight hot-pluggable 6-Gbps SAS hard drives and on-board IPMI 2.0 remote server management. Super Micro's Lynnfield-based minitower is the SuperServer 5036I-IF, which supports four add-on cards, up to 32 GB of Registered DDR3 memory, dual Gigabit LAN ports and four 3.5-inch drive bays with RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.

"These new platforms can boost performance more than 50 percent compared to the previous generation of single-processor server platforms," said Charles Liang, president and CEO of Super Micro, echoing Intel channel chief Steve Dallman, who called Lynnfield "the most important 1U server play from Intel since Harpertown."

Liang also believes the whitebox channel will have a nice window of opportunity to move fast on Lynnfield, saying, "The Tier 1 [OEMs] are behind us" in getting products to market.

A case in point is Amax, which already has a 1U server appliance based on the Xeon 3400 series ready to ship, said James Huang, product marketing manager at the Fremont, Calif.-based system builder.

Intel itself is pegging the small business market as a natural fit for single-socket, purpose-built servers based on the new Xeons and the Intel 3400 and 3420 chipsets, promising that its new hardware will deliver "up to 64 percent more sales transactions and up to 56 percent faster business response time."

Smaller system builders also could have an advantage targeting SMBs with Lynnfield-based desktops and servers during the coming holiday rush when larger OEMs generally focus heavily on the consumer market, said Todd Garrigues, Intel's North American channel products marketing manager.

"There's six total SKUs on the Xeon side, and where the channel really wins is when it's really well stocked at launch, which is the case here," Garrigues said, adding that there were opportunities for whitebox builders to lead on new Core-based systems as well. "One thing that's different about this launch than some past ones is that there are several Micro ATX boards coming out at launch. When you have a lower-cost Micro ATX solution plus powerful processors, that's a very good opportunity for the channel."

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