Egenera is to start selling servers based on AMD's Opteron chip.

The company, which specialises in pooling blade servers into a utility computing architecture, previously only offered Intel Xeon-based blades.

Two- and four-processor Opteron-based systems will be available in the next 30 days. Pricing was not released.

The company also announced that it is upgrading its signature BladeFrame system, which ties the blades together in a single chassis with software designed to move workloads across the servers in a utility computing fashion.

Egenera was one of the first companies to introduce blade servers when it debuted BladeFrame in 2001. It has put its own twist on blades, however, by selling diskless versions of the slimmed-down systems in a chassis with special management software. The idea is to make it simpler for IT managers to deploy and maintain data centre infrastructure, Egenera executives say.

Because the servers are diskless, workloads can easily be moved across them and systems can fail over seamlessly, Egenera executives say. The foundation of BladeFrame is Egenera’s Processing Area Network software that virtualizes processing, storage and network resources.

Updates to BladeFrame 4.0 include the ability for users to modify server configurations in seconds without having to take down the server, thus avoiding interruptions in service; tighter integration with VMware’s GSX server virtual machine technology; a chargeback tool that puts data into an XML file; and an easier-to-use graphical user interface.