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Fujitsu Makes Four-Blade Play

Fujitsu Computer Systems hopes the race for supremacy among four-way blade servers is won not by the swiftest but by the densest.

When it comes to speed to market, Fujitsu is already a distant third. Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) shipped a quad blade server 19 months ago and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) followed last January. Fujitsu just got its four-way Primergy BX600 blade server out this week.

Fujitsus senior product manager, Jon Rodriguez, says Fujitsu is hoping to defeat the competition’s time-to-market edge with superior design. Each four-way blade chassis has been denser than its predecessor. Fujitsu’s chassis holds up to five four-way blades or 10 two-way blades. You can also mix and match two-way and four-way blades in the chassis. HP’s four-blade chassis allows only two four-way blades, and IBM holds four.

Four-way blades allow four processors -- in Fujitsu's case, four Intel processors -- per blade. “Blades are a flagship product for us,” Rodriguez says. “We try to hit the sweet spot, which is people looking to replace rackmount servers.”

Others have the same idea, as IDC predicts worldwide blade server revenue will grow from about $600 million this year to nearly $9 billion by 2008, and that blades will account for around 40 percent of the U.S. server market by 2006.

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