The third version of the Wave Server Study by TheInfoPro (TIP) has found that blade servers are finally gaining acceptance in the enterprise computing environment.
According to the previous survey of over 130 in-depth interviews with leading server professionals, 6% had no interest in blades while another 8% reported that they were sceptical; in the latest survey negative responses dropped to zero. Over 85% of users reported in the survey that blade servers are ‘valuable’ or ‘critical’ to their long-term server plans.
While users continue to be split evenly between ‘scaling out’ – defined by TIP as adding processing power through the addition of small units such as blades – and ‘scaling up’– adding processing power through virtualising larger systems – the company suggests that the blade option is no longer taking a back seat to virtualisation. In fact, many users cited plans to virtualise on Blades.
TIP believes that the balance is shifting slightly back in favour of scaling out as evidenced by blade servers based on Intel processors rising steadily from seventh most important item in the first Wave survey taken in summer 2005, to second place on the same survey conducted a year later. TIP regards that as particularly impressive given the broad penetration of blade trials in recent years.
The study also asked detailed questions on the motivators and inhibitors of Linux, systems management, virtualisation and blade servers, as well as technology choices and timeframe for deployments.
In a detailed examination of blade servers, TIP found that in the second survey a quarter of users cited little or no cost benefits as a major inhibitor to blade deployment, many were citing acquisition cost and were not factoring in lowered operational cost. In Wave 3, however, this percentage has dropped to under 10%.