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Sharpen This

Aw, man, do I have to write about blade servers again?
Well, yes, and no. (Please forgive my temporary crankiness here. It'll pass.) True, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are adjusting their blade platforms to push harder into this crucial market segment, and true, they are the foundation of what's likely to be a nice tussle among blade vendors as they compete frantically for customers -- meaning better prices and deals for you, should you choose to take any facet of your business onto blades.

But this week, I'm a little more interested in what blades, or other new servers and/or software platforms, are doing for your server setup. Major tech products vendor CDW says its recent survey shows that cost savings mainly drive the decision to optimize server deployments, with some 66 percent of 420 IT managers saying that was their primary reason. Hey, that certainly makes sense. But are there other reasons? Business continuity -- that is, keeping your servers up 24/7 -- was another big reason, and I'm sure that many of you are also looking for better performance, a simpler way to transition to a new or upgraded software platform, or a lessened cooling burden. (There's those cost savings again.) Whatever the case, I'd like to find out what's driving your upgrades if you're making any. Take a minute, if you would, and take our poll to let us know what you're thinking about these days, as you juggle those budgets with performance and the general need to keep the boss happy.