IBM announces blade server line

IBM has introduced a line of blade servers so compact that 84 of the devices - built around Intel - Xeon processors, can fit in a...

IBM has introduced a line of blade servers so compact that 84 of the devices - built around Intel - Xeon processors, can fit in a standard server rack.

Tom Bradicich, chief technology officer for IBM's xSeries servers, said the design of the new blades will serve as a road map for the design of future products that IBM and Intel plan to develop jointly under an agreement announced last week.

Pricing for the IBM eServer BladeCenter starts at $1,879 (£1,207), with the chassis designed to hold the blades priced at $4,988 (£3,203). Each chassis holds 14 blades - each of them essentially a server on a card - and a standard rack can hold six of the chassis.


Each server comes with up to 8Gb of memory, Bradicich said, and two internal hard drives. Users can choose optional fibre switches and a Fibre Channel architecture for a faster I/O.

Bradicich said IBM would start shipping the new blades in November.

In a related development, Hewlett-Packard, which introduced its blade server line last year, said its blade shipments have now passed 1,800 units per month.

"The blade server market is taking off like a rocket, and it's only the most agile and innovative vendors that can take advantage of this opportunity," said James Mouton, HP's vice president of enterprise servers.

Market research firm IDC said sales in the new blade server category would total only $120m (£77m) this year but will grow to $3.7bn (£2.4bn) in 2006.

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