Buying Into Blades

B&S readers are ready to embrace blade servers, especially for Fibre Channel switches

July 16, 2005

2 Min Read
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Over 80 percent of 116 Byte and Switch readers report interest in blade servers and would especially like to see Fibre Channel switches in blade form.

Forty-two percent of respondents to our latest poll say they are using blade servers, 21 percent plan to, and 17 percent are evaluating them now.

Forty-seven percent of those polled say a combination of factors is driving their interest, including the space savings promised by blade servers, which replace standalone boxes with modules in a chassis.

When asked what kind of storage equipment they'd most like to see in blade form, 30 percent report Fibre Channel switches and arrays, even though 54 percent think Gigabit Ethernet will be the network most likely to support blade servers.

None of this is surprising. Adaptations of blade architectures stand to change the shape of enterprise and telecom computing. Blades are said to be key to grid networks of the future (see On the Edge of a Blade). And though storage spending appears to be hesitant, blade servers are shaping up as a robust market (see Survey: Storage Spending Will Slow and IDC: Blades Blast Off).A recent report, "AdvancedTCA: Who's Doing What," from Heavy Reading, the research arm of our parent publication, Light Reading, describes in detail the blade elements of the new service provider architecture. ATCA is aimed at dramatically reducing the cost of supporting multiple disparate platforms in carrier networks, advancing a range of new services that could change how many companies do business. It's a market that's attracting a slew of suppliers, including leading server makers (see ATCA Starts to Rumble and Server Honchos Flash Blades).

When it comes to the enterprise, our poll results hint that users are thinking more about Ethernet as a universal transport. Many observers envision that the blade setup will encourage internal data center fabrics that encompass Fibre Channel and InfiniBand, even though Ethernet will predominate in external connections (see High-Speed Links Favor Ethernet).

If you haven't weighed in yet, there's still time to take the poll and add your views. To do so, click here.

Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

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