Dell set to jump back into blade server market

Dell plans to jump back into the blade server game with both feet, when it introduces a system that lets corporate users put one...

Dell plans to introduce a system that lets corporate users put one and half blade servers into the same space that now accommodates a 1U rack-mounted server later this year.

Dell believes it can gain a technical advantage in this market by also including other leading-edge technologies in the upcoming box that are more typically found in larger single-processor units.

The unnamed system, to be part of the Dell PowerEdge series, will use Intel's upcoming Nocona chip that is capable of running both 32- and 64-bit applications, along with the accompanying Lindenhurst chip set.

The system can use the same systems management software now available with Dell's series of 1U servers, the company said.

Dell plans to price the unit the same as a similarly configured rack-mount server, but said it will offer more value because of its added density. The company said that most blade servers today typically cost between 30% and 40% more than their rack-mounted counterparts.

"When the chassis is halfway full of blades, it will be cross neutral. When it is completely full, there will be upwards of a 25% cost improvement," said Paul Gottsegen, vice-president of worldwide enterprise marketing at Dell.

Part of the reason for blade servers accounting for less than 5% of the overall server market, according to Gottsegen, is not just their cost but the fact that most corporate users have been satisfied with the job that existing 1U rack-mount servers can do for them.

Ed Scannell writes for Infoworld

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