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Vegas Blade Warning

LAS VEGAS -- Data center managers may have their work cut out for them in justifying the cost of blade servers to their boards, warns Carl Greiner, Meta Group Inc. vice president, at the start of the Afcom Data Center World Conference in Las Vegas.

Speaking today to an audience of users and vendors at the typically understated Rio Hotel and Casino, Greiner highlighted the current cost disparity between blades and traditional rack-mounted servers. He says, I have to do more interconnect, I have to share more memory -- there’s lots of things that I have to do with a blade that I don’t have to do with the individual rack.”

This means that many organizations are delaying their blade purchases. “Some people are getting pushed back by their management," notes Greiner, "saying ‘let’s wait for the next go-round.’ ”

But the former IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) executive urged users to emphasize the improved flexibility and utilization offered by blade servers, if they want to convince their boards that the technology is viable. “Just be aware, there are economies to this thing -- it just isn’t a hardware-for-hardware comparison.”

Blade servers, which are marketed as a compact, high performance, alternative to traditional servers, are attracting increasing attention from users at the moment. Although research from firms such as Meta Group and IDC. say that blades still only represent a tiny proportion of the server market, the technology offers some real benefits in the data center.

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