the Pipeline

IBM challenges HP to rumble

IBM Corp. has released a four-way blade server, along with a four-way rack server, in a direct challenge to Hewlett-Packard Development Co. LP's ProLiant blade. With blades at the ready, the companies might just square off behind the bleachers down at the football stadium.

IBM officials say its new eServer BladeCenter HS40 packs three times the processing power of HP's ProLiant into a space only 75 percent as big. Seven of the systems can fit into a 7U (12-inch) chassis, whereas HP needs a 9U (15-inch chassis) for two of its four-way blades. (Four-way refers to the number of processors mounted on the blade.)

The server, using 32-bit Intel Corp. Xeon processors, joins IBM's eServer JS20, which uses 64-bit PowerPC chips, giving customers a choice of hardware platforms. IBM also unveiled the eServer xSeries 365, a four-way rack-optimized system that provides six internal hard drives with a storage capacity of up to 876G and a compact design that lets IBM provide

40 percent more processors per rack than Dell Inc. or HP, according to IBM officials.

The eServer xSeries 365 is available now, starting at $7,039. The BladeCenter HS40 will be available beginning in February, and its price has not yet been announced.

Trust, but validate

Coast Software Inc. has released the Coast Extended File Coverage Module, an extension for its Web Quality Central software that allows users to monitor the quality of files on a Web site. The module expands the product's capabilities to include non-HTML files for the first time.

The module supports Adobe Systems Inc.'s Acrobat files; Microsoft Corp. Office documents created in Word, Excel or PowerPoint; and Corel Corp. WordPerfect files. Coast's product allows users to set custom business rules along with standard ones such as those governing privacy and accessibility at a time when agencies are under mandates to enable the visually impaired to use government Web sites and to protect the privacy of citizens who get information from them.

The software automates

the process of validating Web pages to test their compliance with rules and provides quality control over more general Web development concerns. It conducts automated scans to continually monitor an organization's files. n

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