The big boost in L3 cache that Gallatin provides means that supporting servers not only will pack a lot of computing power in a relatively small footprint, but they also will provide greater memory density. That kind of one-two punch is attractive to Tom Clark, MIS director at Rapsheets Criminal Records Inc., which uses IBMs two-way HS20 blade server to host its Microsoft Corp. SQL Server database. Given the high number of queries to the server, memory is a key issue, Clark said.When the blade servers at Rapsheets Criminal Records start getting overloaded, the tasks are moved to larger IBM xSeries 440 and 445 systems, Clark said. The company has been considering getting more of the larger servers, but with the Xeon-powered HS40 coming out, officials are going to consider that system first. "If I could get a four-way blade, I would rather use it," Clark said. "We dont necessarily need speed, we need density. ... We need a smaller footprint." Blades continue to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the server space. IDC, based in Framingham, Mass., expects the blade server market to grow from less than $1 billion in sales in 2003 to more than $7 billion by 2007. Check out eWEEK.coms Server and Networking Center at http://servers.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
"Memory can be our biggest bottleneck sometimes," said Clark, in Memphis, Tenn. "Depending on whats running on [the systems], processing power for speed might not be the biggest issue, but RAM is."