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Explosive Internet growth and richer applications are putting constant pressure on Web-based companies to find ways to scale their infrastructure at the lowest cost. Nowhere is this pressure more evident than in the Web tier, the front line servers that respond to client requests. In an Internet data center, the Web tier consists of the servers and applications that interface most directly with the client in the delivery of Internet services. These front-line servers typically outnumber other data center servers by as much as a factor of five. Consequently, it's also the area in which great cost savings can be achieved through energy-saving improvements.
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