This year saw impressive engineering feats in the blade server market, with the introduction of ultradense systems based on two Xeon chips from Intel Corp. that showcase more computing power per square inch than ever before. IBMs eServer BladeCenter, for example, supports as many as 14 dual-Xeon blades in only 7U (12.25 inches) of space, and we will continue to see even more powerful and scalable systems with four-way symmetric multiprocessing systems and advanced interconnect technologies such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
A need for management software that works well out of the box will likely overshadow the demand for better blade hardware, however, as the usefulness of the server depends almost solely on how well it is being managed. RLX Technologies Inc. has been at the forefront of developing robust blade management technologies, as seen in its Control Tower and ActivManage products.
Server management has progressed toward the utilitarian model to deliver on-demand computing in the data center. New server automation, resource and asset management, and convergence technologies will be the key advances in the server management arena next year. Server virtualization technologies also will continue to play a big role in server consolidation efforts next year.
Check back on eWEEK.com tomorrow for our predictions on mobile computing and open source, followed by collaboration and Web services on Saturday, and networking on Sunday.