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IBM Blades Fuel Arrow's xSeries Growth

Strong acceptance of blade servers in enterprise accounts is fueling explosive growth in IBM's xSeries business at distributor Arrow Electronics' Support Net Division, according to an Arrow executive.

Eric Williams, Support Net's executive vice president, told some 800 attendees at the May Days solution provider conference in Indianapolis Wednesday that the division's xSeries business was up 61 percent for first-quarter 2004 compared with the year-earlier period.

"[Blade servers] have come into their own from an enterprise computing point of view," Williams said. "IBM from a technology viewpoint has created very reliable, scalable servers, and you're starting to see them gain a foothold in the enterprise infrastructure. People are consolidating their applications onto banks of blade servers."

Williams said xSeries sales traditionally have accounted for 2 percent to 3 percent of Support Net's revenue but would likely reach 8 percent to 9 percent of overall revenue in 2004 due to the high amount of blade server sales.

Kevin Gruneisen, senior sales representative for xSeries at Solution Technology, a solution provider in Indianapolis, said IBM's blade server sales are growing dramatically. He said that in the first quarter, 15 percent of Solution Technology's xSeries server sales were blades. But in the second quarter ending June 30, he expects that number to grow to 41 percent of xSeries server sales.

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