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The Incredible Morphing Server

The inextricable march away from dedicated servers toward more flexible approaches has provided data center architects with new ways to satisfy application loads and more economically meet business needs. While most machine-room floors still house some refrigerator-sized proprietary architecture servers, their days are clearly numbered. Blade systems with high-powered CPUs and lightning-fast network interfaces are enabling IT architects to nimbly meet application demands.

The Great Giveaway

IBM's BladeCenter has been influential since its release. While other vendors packed lots of low-powered CPUs into early, comparatively inflexible blade systems, IBM realized that a more flexible approach would meet greater acceptance. The company not only incorporated high-end CPUs into its blade offerings, but it also partnered with the industry's top-tier networking and storage vendors to bring specialized blades to the BladeCenter.

As the rest of the industry rethought its approach to blades, IBM did something perhaps only it could. The company opened the design of the BladeCenter, making its specifications freely available. IBM's stated goal is to remove barriers for vendors wishing to make special-purpose blades for the BladeCenter, but could this also lead to the creation of a new market for BladeCenter clones? We think it might, once again giving IBM a reach beyond its considerable grasp.

CPUs Breathe Easier

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