Fujitsu Readies Next Blade Offering

The newest systems from Fujitsu, which will use Intel's dual- and quad-core Xeon processors, come at a time when the market for blades is becoming increasingly competitive.

In another sign that the market for blade servers is becoming increasingly competitive, Fujitsu Computer Systems launched a new server and chassis June 26, touting the systems I/O and power performance to entice customers.

Fujitsus two-socket BX620 S4 will compete in a market notoriously dominated by Hewlett-Packard and IBM, who together dominate about 75 percent of all shipments, according to IDC.

The Primergy BX620 S4 blade server will use either Intels dual- or quad-core Xeon processors. The new chassis, the BX600 S3, is a 7U (12.25-inch) enclosure that will house up to 10 BX620 blades, said Richard McCormack, senior vice president of product and solutions marketing for Fujitsu.

The new blade features ten 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports per system, which allows up to 60 ports in each chassis, in addition to support for Fibre Channel connectors, which gives the new system three times the I/O throughput of previous offerings, McCormack said.

"Weve managed to add some very good functionality to the new midplane," McCormack said. "We are now able to run a lot more throughput, which means that a customer can run more applications on each blade and they will have much more flexibility when deploying virtualization."

Not only does Fujitsu support VMwares technology, the Sunnyvale, Calif., company also supports a wide range of products based on the open-source Xen hypervisor.

/zimages/7/28571.gifFujitsu and Sun have an agreement to co-develop servers. Click here to read more.

HP executives, ever mindful of the competition, are hinting that the company will begin to expand its blade offering to the midmarket and to SMBs (small and midsize businesses) in the coming months. At the companys June 18 Technology Forum & Expo in Las Vegas, executives were placing a heavy emphasis on HPs BladeSystem c-Class architecture.

HPs counterparts at IBM, meanwhile, said that SMBs will benefit from the new BladeCenter S system, which will be available in the fourth quarter.

Sun, too, jumped into the blade market recently with systems that offer a combination of Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and UltraSPARC chips.

Fujitsus McCormack acknowledged that IBM and HP own the lions share of the market. But, he believes, Fujitsu can increase its own standing by placing an emphasis on the density of the BX620 as well as new engineering that is designed to cut down on power and cooling costs by redirecting air flow and decreasing the number of fans needed to cool the system.

/zimages/7/28571.gifClick here to read about Fujitsus notebooks that use solid-state disks.

In addition, McCormack argued that the new Fujitsu chassis offers a flexible design that is compatible with the companys BX600 blade servers, which use both Intel and AMD processors.

"What we have is a blade that is denser and offers high availability, which will allow us to target customers in large enterprises as well as small and medium-sized businesses," McCormack said.

The Fujitsu BX620 blade offers between 1GB and 32GB of RAM and a two serial-attached SCSI hard drives that have a maximum capacity of 292GB, according to the company.

The BX620 blade starts at $1,948, and the BX600 chassis starts at $7,176, according to Fujitsu.

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