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Blade Price Drops Shake Up Server Market

Falling blade server prices and improved cooling features on blade systems are shaking up the server hardware market.

That was the message from one of IBM's senior consultants at solution provider GreenPages' annual solutions summit in Portsmouth, N.H. Kittery, Maine-based GreenPages held the conference for 55 of its customers.

Steven Loeschorn, a senior briefing consultant at IBM's facility in Research Triangle Park, N.C., told GreenPages customers at the event that the cost of 14 IBM BladeCenter servers is now 23 percent lower than comparable standard 1U IBM systems and 41 percent lower in a solutions configuration in a SAN environment.

"This is a major shift where the marketplace has been over the last year," Loeschorn said. "Blades used to be more expensive."

IBM is stepping up its assault on the four-way blade server space with Intel's Cranford multiprocessor Xeon. The IBM-Intel Cranford system, which has no L3 cache, allows IBM to deliver a fully configured, four-way system for less than $20,000, down from $30,000 six months ago, Loeschorn said. IBM's four-way barebones system now runs $5,000, down from $10,000 six months ago, he added.

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