IBM packs more blades into server farms

IBM is increasing the density of its blade server farms by packing 84 blades into a single rack. This means 36 more servers can...

IBM is increasing the density of its blade server farms by packing 84 blades into a single rack. This means 36 more servers can be housed in the space previously occupied by 48 blades, writes Eric Doyle.

The Bladecenter server modules are based on dual Intel Xeon processors but the board components are arranged to make the units as thin as possible. The design is based on IBM's more conventional eServer products and management of the stack is provided by the latest release of IBM's Director software, 4.1.

Research by analyst firm IDC found that 26% of companies are looking to deploy a blade server system in the next 18 months. The high density allowed by the blade architecture makes it ideal for Web serving - search engine Lycos Europe is planning to use Bladecenters to boost its Web site performance and enable future expansion of its services.

Christopher Mohn, chief executive at Lycos Europe, said server performance is critical for the Web-based company. "The possibility of efficiently managing changing performance requirements is key to our business," he said. "In combination with further advantages, such as minimal space requirement and simplified IT management, IBM Bladecenter gives us the ability to save on costs and utilise our resources economically."

The Bladecenter incorporates fibre switches for connection to a storage area network and Gigabit Ethernet and can run Windows, Linux and Novell Netware.

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