Dell Computer Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are combining efforts to develop channel-based network interconnect technology for next-generation enterprise servers. The companies are working on hardware and software components for the non-proprietary, standards-based InfiniBand technology, which promises higher data throughput for high-density racks of servers, storage and other network devices.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell has provided its PowerEdge servers to Microsoft for software development and engineers at the companies are working together on a framework for integrating InfiniBand fabrics into fibre channel and Ethernet-based data center infrastructures.

"We believe that InfiniBand, with its high bandwidth and low latency, will become a significant server blade interconnect technology," Cliff Reeves, vice president of Microsoft's Windows server division, said in a statement. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft plans to support InfiniBand in future versions of the Windows server family of operating systems and Dell plans to integrate the technology in next-generation "brick" servers with Intel Corp.'s Xeon processors.

,p>The companies describe the technology as offering companies simplified server management, scalability, improved density for rack- mounted servers and lower costs. Dell says the servers will be "ideal for back- end data center applications" which have traditionally been dominated by proprietary products.

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