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HP, IBM Revamp Their Blade Server Platforms

Large businesses with growing data centers face difficult challenges. Proliferating servers eat up too much space, consume too much electricity, generate too much heat, require too much cooling, and need too many systems administrators. Some companies are turning to blade servers to ease the pressure.

"We've experienced some real challenges putting more equipment within the same space," says Christopher Riccio, lead network analyst at Sodexho, a provider of food and facilities management. "We were really concerned about having to expand [our data center] or move to a new location."

Sodexho is deploying blade servers from Hewlett-Packard. By consolidating six racks of servers into one blade chassis, the company boosts computing power it packs into the existing data center, Riccio says.

HP and IBM--the market leaders--last week introduced upgraded blade lines designed to make the technology even more appealing and easier to manage. HP's c-Class BladeSystem will let a single systems administrator manage 200 blade servers, the company said. The ratio in many data centers is one systems administrator for 20 rack-mounted or standalone servers. HP also increased the number of blades that can fit into a single chassis, added a more efficient cooling system, and cut operating costs. However, the new c-Class BladeSystem products are incompatible with HP's existing p-Class blades and enclosures.

A Blade Ecosystem

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