IDG News Service - IBM is adding to its blade server line with an upcoming model targeted at small and midsize businesses.
The BladeCenter S system is packaged to include server, storage, network I/O connections and software integrated into a single chassis. IBM declined to provide pricing information but said it plans to begin shipping the product in the fourth quarter.
"BladeCenter S simplifies IT for our customers," said Alex Yost, vice president and business line executive for IBM's blade products. "Set up is three easy steps: Take it out of the box, plug it in, and run the wizard to get it up and running, much like you might do [with] a PC today."
The new model is small enough to sit on a desktop, runs on standard 110- or 220-volt electrical current, requires no raised floor, and features simplified cabling compared to other servers, said Yost.
A BladeCenter S system can include up to six blade servers and will include software for running a typical office environment, such as antivirus protection, voice-over-IP phone service, e-mail and file-print functions.
IBM cited an IDC research forecast predicting that blade computer market revenue will grow to $11 billion by 2010, from $3 billion in 2005. IDC also forecasts that blade sales will account for 18% of all server sales by 2011, up from 6.6% this year. Blades are appealing to data center managers because they are smaller and more energy-efficient than rack servers. IT managers also note some cautions, including the effect on facilities.
In the competition among server vendors for blade sales, IBM comes in second. Hewlett-Packard Co. held a 40.9% share of the global blade server market, while IBM held 35.2%, according to IDC.
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