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New hardware on the way from Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Intel Corp. will show that blade servers need not be compact versions of their traditional server tower cousins.

Blade servers, which two years ago could be found primarily in one- and two-processor configurations, are growing in variety and giving users more options within the smaller form factor. New systems from HP, IBM and Intel will be no exception.

HP will unveil the ProLiant BL30p, an ultradense blade server equipped with two Intel Xeon processors and aimed for use by small and midsize businesses. The server, which will be available next quarter, is targeted for such jobs as Web hosting, application serving, clusters and grids.

The BL30p keeps many of the same features as HP’s larger two-way server, the BL20p—including Fibre Channel and Ethernet connectivity options—but removes features that are less important to smaller businesses, such as SCSI hard drives, said HP officials in Palo Alto, Calif.

The result is a blade server that offers the processing power of its larger brethren but fits in a smaller space.

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