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Microservers: New Market, New Vendors And Lots Of Promise

While the low energy-consumption processors on which a new crop of microservers is based are only now addressing enterprise cloud and other requirements, the growing number of microservers coming to market gives this business a chance to grow.

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Defining The Microserver Market

The microserver market is so new that the very word "microserver" lacks a solid definition.

Microservers are servers sitting in high-density racks or enclosures with multiple low-power-consumption processors, along with storage and networking resources, that can be configured and quickly reconfigured for any number of data center or cloud applications. Microservers could be used as general-purpose servers. However, since most are not x86-compatible, they are much more likely to play application-specific roles. Furthermore, unlike general-purpose servers, individual compute nodes within a microserver, along with related storage and networking resources, can also typically be reconfigured for new applications on the fly. Not included in this definition are servers like Hewlett-Packard's HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8, which are general-purpose servers targeting small business or SOHO users.

Here's a look at five processors used in the microserver market, followed by several of the latest microservers.

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