Rackable Can Offer Broader Range of Systems
For Rackable, the deal allows it to contract with a Tier 1 vendor to offer a broader range of systems within its ICE Cube data center. In addition, since the IBM BladeCenter HT systems have NEBS (Network Equipment-Building System) and other telecommunications certifications, Rackable can sell its ICE Cube to telecoms, oil and gas companies, and other enterprises that operate data centers in harsher environments than those found in typical data centers. (The BladeCenter chassis also use DC power.)The agreement also gives Rackable access to IBM's Tivoli management software. In a fully configured Rackable ICE Cube, a customer can pack as many as 1,344 dual-socket IBM blades using quad-core Xeon processors or 672 four-socket systems that use dual-core Advanced Micro Devices Opteron chips."I think the added value that this agreement will give to our customers is that they will have access to enterprise-class blades that can support a number of workloads for users in telecom, oil and gas, and the military," said Tony Carrozza, senior vice president for sales and marketing for Rackable. While IBM and Rackable have painted the agreement as a boon for both themselves and customers, the two companies are also competitors within this new modular data center space. IBM recently announced its own portable data center that uses its iDataPlex array for building cloud infrastructures and supporting Web 2.0 environments. "There will be times when we will be competing against one another, but, on the other hand, it will be the customer that makes the decision on what type of product they want as their solution," said Tim Dougherty, director of BladeCenter strategy for IBM.