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Hardware vendors chase Cloud Providers!

The big computer makers are starting to flex their muscles after ceding the early lead to smaller companies, like Fremont, Calif.-based Rackable Systems Inc. (RACK) and Verari Systems Inc. of San Diego. Both were among the first to commercialize high-density server systems.

Dell has emerged as a cutting-edge player in this market, a little more than one year after creating a unit specifically tasked with developing customized products and services for "hyper-scale" data center customers.

"Hyper-scale computing environments - where infrastructure deployments are measured by up to millions of servers, storage and networking equipment - are changing the way organizations are thinking about their data center requirements," said Brad Anderson, a senior vice president in Dell's business product unit.

That has left H-P and IBM trying to catch up.

"H-P and IBM are behind in this particular data center business," said Roger Kay of Endpoint Technology Associates. "They were caught sleeping when the market took off and Dell recognized it."

An H-P spokesman said the Palo Alto, Calif., computer maker is actively working to develop more servers optimized for cloud computing data centers. In July, the company unveiled its Performance Optimized Data Centers, or PODS, which are 40-foot shipping containers packed 3,500 servers, enough gear to re- create a 4,000-square-foot data center. The hardware inside is a mix of servers developed by H-P and some of its partners.


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