RLX Dual-Processor Blade Servers Coming

RLX Technologies Inc., one of the key pioneers in the development of blade servers, is planning to launch a dual-processor model early next year.

RLX Technologies Inc., one of the key pioneers in the development of blade servers, is planning to launch a dual-processor model early next year.

The as-yet-unnamed server will feature Intel Corp. chips, although RLX officials declined to say which chips will be used. RLX later next year will refresh its Control Tower management software to support the companys dual-processor architecture.

The dual-processor servers will enable enterprise data centers to more broadly use RLXs blades, officials said. Many of the companys current products, which can pack up to 336 blade servers in a standard rack designed to hold 42 rack-mounted servers, are used more for edge-of-the-network jobs, such as Web serving.

RLX, based in The Woodlands, Texas, has three models of single-processor blade servers—the ServerBlades 1200i and 800i, which run on Intels Pentium III chip, and the ServerBlade 667, which runs on Transmeta Corp.s 667MHz Crusoe processor. Later this month, the ServerBlade 667 will get an upgrade to Transmetas 1GHz chip, RLX officials said.

Persist Technologies Inc., which builds systems to store such data as e-mail, office documents and digital media, uses single-processor Intel-based servers from RLX for standard storage purposes.

"We need to get slightly higher-powered servers" for the more core processing duties, said Gary Lyng, vice president of product management and alliances at the Pleasanton, Calif., company.

Persist uses traditional thin servers for those processing duties but will investigate RLXs dual-processor servers when they are released, Lyng said. Being able to outfit its business completely with blade servers would give Persist greater flexibility in areas such as connectivity and throughput, he said.


The evolution of RLXs blade server technology
  • May 2001 Introduces RLX System 324, powered by Transmeta Crusoe chip
  • February 2002 Introduces ServerBlade 800i, its first blade server featuring Intels Pentium III chip
  • Q1 2003 Will introduce its first dual-processor blade server featuring Intel chips
RLX rolled out its first server last year using the Transmeta chips, which ran cooler and consumed less energy than Intel chips at the time, enabling RLX to increase the density of the blades. However, the Crusoe chips were designed for ultralight notebooks and handhelds, and enterprises were wary of using them in enterprise systems. In February, RLX rolled out its first Intel-based server, using ultra-low-voltage Pentium III chips.

RLX officials said they will continue to support Transmeta-based servers for customers whose primary concern is density.

Company officials said they also will continue rolling out single-processor designs. The single-chip designs will continue to be adequate for edge-of-network duties, RLX officials said.