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Rackable Plays It Cool

Some would argue that IT vendor partnership agreements are commonplace to the point of being mundane, but we find the IBM/Rackable deal notable for a number of reasons. First, it addresses the issue of how smaller vendors can effectively compete in markets dominated by large players.This is a thorny point in new or emerging areas, such as blade servers. In those markets, large vendors, such as IBM and HP typically enjoy better funding, deeper R&D expertise and longer market reach. Smaller players find these advantages difficult or essentially impossible to beat.

By working out an agreement with IBM, Rackable can immediately begin populating its customized Ice Cube modular data centers with one of the markets premier blade server solutions. That will offer the company a range of financial, technical and marketing benefits, while providing its customers with a host of highly flexible system and solution options.

In addition, the availability of IBM’s BladeCenter T and HT blades, engineered for extreme datacenter conditions, should play particularly well in the harsh, remote environments where containerized data centers are gaining initial ground. While some vendors are promoting modular systems as solutions for quickly expanding conventional IT infrastructures, we do not expect to see them crowding executive parking lots anytime soon. Rackable can also leverage a wide variety of networking, storage and other BladeCenter products developed and delivered by members, whose community the company plans to join.

In fact, the community aspects of the Rackable/IBM deal may be at least as profound for the companies than commercial opportunities that may accrue from
the agreement.

IBM’s decision to support a unique, collaborative community around the BladeCenter architecture has had far-reaching effects for the company and its customers and partners. now has over 100 hardware and software vendor, developer, distribution partner, and end user members who provide insights and guidance on fundamental BladeCenter issues and decisions.

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