Intel Preps 'Clear Bay' SMB Server Platform

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Clear Bay, which was highlighted at Intel's spring financial analyst meeting in New York Thursday, is a modular server platform based on six Xeon processors that features integrated storage and networking, redundancy and hot swapping support, said Thomas Kilroy, vice president and general manager at Intel.

Using this platform, customers can swap out one processor without interrupting the other five processors, have access to a shared storage array, and easily snap in power supplies and cooling devices, Kilroy said.

Intel would not disclose pricing.

The platform is built for small businesses lacking their own IT departments. But it also enables channel partners to sell an integrated rack server system out of the box on top of which they can offer remote monitoring services that carry higher margin profits, Kilroy said.

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Clear Bay is just one of several "special purpose built platforms" Intel is developing for specific markets, Gilroy said. For example, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker is working on a low-cost notebook platform and a low-cost, low-power PC platform for emerging markets code named "Shelton 2."

The Shelton 2 board and processor combination, part of a broader Intel initiative dubbed "Little Valley," consists of an Intel "Yonah" mobile processor that is soldered right onto the board, Kilroy said. It is designed for systems priced at less than $300 and will be available later this year, he added.