The next generation of blade servers will have the muscle to tackle enterprise applications such as databases. Blade servers staked a claim in the front-end Web server market this year, with product offerings from vendors such as RLX Technologies Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.However, blade sales have been sluggish as computational density, power consumption and data center real estate became less pressing in the slow economy and IT managers turned to industry-standard rack-mount servers made cheap by vendor competition.Next year, we should see a renewed market for blade servers as server vendors including Dell Computer Corp., HP, IBM and Sun scramble to release more powerful multiprocessor server blades. Unlike current offerings, which target only the front-end Web space, the next generation of blade servers will have the muscle to tackle enterprise applications such as databases. These high-end server blades will use the latest processors and chip sets found in current high-end servers. As new products based on standards such as InfiniBand and 10 Gigabit Ethernet become available, server blades will be able to leverage these technologies to provide enterprises with powerful blade systems capable of handling any enterprise application. Mellanox Technologies Inc. and other companies have released InfiniBand blade reference designs offering powerful blade architecture that can run multitier applications on a single chassis with several high-end server blades. The Nitro II server blade reference design can run a firewall, Web servers, a database and other applications on a single 5.25-inch chassis hosting 14 blades. This year, we saw management and provisioning initiatives ranging from HPs Adaptive Infrastructure to Dells Smart IT. As we move into next year, we should see better integration and synergy between server hardware and management software. Jareva Technologies Inc. and others are releasing complete hardware management solutions that provide end-to-end management, provisioning and inventory for the enterprise servers and blade systems. We will see increased support for Linux in the server market next year as vendors provide more Linux offerings in their server lines. IBM has announced that its high-end Unix-based pSeries servers will run Linux natively without requiring them to run AIX on another partition. Sun has introduced the entry-level LX 50 server running Sun Linux. Although Sun hasnt announced plans to put Linux on its high-end servers, we expect to see more Sun Linux server offerings next year.
The next generation of blade servers will have the muscle to tackle enterprise applications such as databases. Blade servers staked a claim in the front-end Web server market this year, with product offerings from vendors such as RLX Technologies Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.