IBM & Motorola Brandish Blades

IBM announces one of the first major partnerships under its new blade server strategy for the telecom sector

June 23, 2004

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

CHICAGO Supercomm 2004 – IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) announced an agreement with Motorola Computer Group at Supercomm today as part of its ongoing push to sell its blade server technology into the telecom space.

Under the terms of the deal, IBM will deploy specialized software from Motorola on its BladeCenter-T product, which was launched earlier this year for service providers and telecom firms (see IBM's BladeServer Blitz). The deal is also one of the first major partnerships to be unveiled as part of IBM’s eServer Integrated Platform for Telecommunications (IPT), a package of pre-bundled blade server software targeted at the telecom market (see IBM Flashes Its Blade).

Blade servers are big news at the moment. IT managers see them as a high-powered solution to the space constraints experienced in data centers. Analyst firm IDC

estimates that blade servers will represent nearly 29 percent of server unit shipments by the end of 2008.

By creating the IPT strategy, IBM is clearly looking to add momentum to its blade server sales by exploiting telecom firms’ demand for Linux-based applications and industry-specific software on the two-processor BladeCenter-T.

According to Bruce Anthony, chief technology officer of IBM’s telecom servers division, the Motorola software that will now be bundled onto the BladeCenter-T offers “failover in milliseconds.””This enables our customers to create applications such as soft switches, voicemail, and conferencing, that have very high levels of reliability,” he adds.

These applications, however, can be very processor intensive, and to boost efficiency, Anthony claims, the Motorola software will “synchronize” the applications running on the Blade Center-T’s Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Power PC processors.

The move could be a shrewd one by IBM, particularly at a time when telecom firms are moving towards the deployment of IP-based applications. Motorola is an established name in the telecom market, and IBM could potentially gain access to new revenue streams.

IBM’s announcement today is part of the company’s continued battle with its fierce blade rival Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ).

HP has yet to launch a telecom-specific blade, although the firm recently announced that it had sold its 100,000th blade server. HP also unveiled its latest blade product, the two-processor Proliant BL30p (see HP Reaches Blade Milestone).HP was unavailable for comment for this article.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights