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Server Specs: Intel to unveil Montecito today

Intel rolls out new Itanium; IBM cashes in on Micromuse; BMC bangs performance drum; VMware makes money while giving virtualization away for free.

Intel to unveil Montecito today
At a kickoff event in San Francisco, Intel Corp. is expected to officially launch the much awaited Montecito chip, the Itanium 2 9000 Series. Itanium backers Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), Fujitsu and Unisys will also be on hand.

More on Itanium:

Itanium still strong on Unix, not Windows

Intel delays dual-core Itanium

Intel and HP have had a hard time making the case for Itanium, the beleaguered chip architecture they codeveloped . The microprocessor was designed for high performance, but slow sales and Intel's failure to meet roadmap deadlines have resulted in IBM and Dell Inc. dropping the architecture.

Intel and HP say the new dual-core Itaniums provide higher performance with better power efficiency than its predecessors but will face tough competition from high-performance processor offerings from IBM's Power line and UltraSparc from Sun Microsystems Inc..

IBM unveils new Tivoli security suite
IBM has released new software that will allow data centers to react to security threats like denial of service attacks and worms as they happen.

The Tivoli Security Operations Manager -- available today -- is the first release from IBM that incorporates technology from its February acquisition of Micromuse Inc., a network management software company.

The software analyzes data and is able to recognize threats before they happen, rather than after the system has been violated, according to IBM.

Security is a pressing issue for companies today. According to a study performed by the Computer Security Institute out of San Francisco, the results of which were released on July 13, 74% of companies' financial losses result from virus attacks, unauthorized network access, lost or stolen laptops, and theft of proprietary or intellectual property.

BMC announces new performance management tools
BMC Software Inc. has introduced new business service management software to help data centers organize their IT departments.

This is the Houston company's third announcement in the past few months on new software meant to help businesses link their IT resources with business functions. Earlier this summer, BMC announced a new configuration management database, which contains relevant information about an IT department's components, including hardware, software and staff, and how those pieces interact with one another.

BMC's newest announcement is about an updated product called Performance Assurance, which the company said will be able to sort out more performance abnormalities automatically. Performance Assurance for Servers helps data center managers organize their servers and determine what resources are needed for what tasks. It can then team up with another BMC product, Virtualizer, which can assign those resources accordingly.

BMC calls the group of products -- which also includes the CMDB, Discovery and Performance Manager -- the Data Center Optimization solution.

VMware makes money, giving virtualization away for free
VMware Inc., an independent subsidiary of EMC, reported it grew total Q2 revenues 73% year over year to $157 million, its highest growth rate in five quarters. VMware now has an annualized run rate of $630 million.

Last week VMware released VMware Server, a free version of its server virtualization software that succeeds the company's now discontinued GSX Server.

Customers can now download a copy of VMware Server, which has been in beta since February. The software lets users provision a single physical server as multiple machines. It also supports 64-bit guest operating systems, including Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris, among its features.

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