Server Hardware - 2


IBMs eServer BladeCenter

IBMs eServer BladeCenter emerged as the winner in the Server Hardware category by providing impressive server blade density in a scalable, resilient chassis while offering flexible hardware support and comprehensive management capabilities.

The BladeCenter effectively integrates servers, networking, storage and management in a compact and scalable package, thus offering enterprise IT managers a robust infrastructure building block suitable for server consolidation efforts at midsize and large enterprises.

The BladeCenters unmatched blade density is impressive. It delivers the best processor density and performance in its class, supporting as many as 14 two-way Intel Corp. Xeon blades or seven four-way Xeon blades in a 7U (12.25-inch) chassis. In addition, IT managers have the option of outfitting the BladeCenter with dual PowerPC processor blades, revving up the BladeCenter to tackle 64-bit computing.

The BladeCenter provides strong system management and reliability as well. The included IBM Director software and optional Remote Deployment Manager software ease system management, and redundancy features such as the high-availability midplane provide dual connectivity for all modular components.

The BladeCenter adheres to industry-standard technologies, supporting Layer 2-7 Gigabit Ethernet switching and Fibre Channel interconnects for SAN fabrics. It supports Windows, Linux and Novell operating environments.


Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun Fire B100s Blade Server

The Sun Fire B100s Blade Server provides an inexpensive alternative to 1U (1.75-inch) rack-mount servers for running tier-one applications in Solaris and Linux environments.

Sun also offers Intel x86 Pentium blades, load balancing blades and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) proxy blades (sold separately), making the Sun Fire Blade Platform very flexible and self-contained. The ability to house major Web infrastructure components in a single Sun Fire Blade Platform will allow companies to save costs in server consolidation projects and respond quickly to changing business needs.

As many as 16 SPARC-based single-processor Sun Fire B100s Blade Servers can be housed in the 3U (5.25-inch) Sun Fire B1600 Blade Platform. Non-Solaris shops can run Linux on the Intel Pentium-based blade server.

The SSL proxy and load balancing blades can significantly increase the overall cost of the system, but the ability to manage a Web farm from a single box makes the Sun Fire Blade Platform a viable alternative to traditional rack-mount systems.

Appro International Inc.s HyperBlade Server Cluster

The only Opteron-based entry in the Server Hardware category, Appros HyperBlade Server Cluster packs an impressive array of 64-bit hardware in a custom chassis with custom cluster management software. The server blades provide powerful 64-bit computing while maintaining native 32-bit x86 architecture support.

Designed for tackling tasks such as heavy-duty research and supercomputing, the HyperBlade can house 80 dual Opteron blade servers within a custom rack.

With support for 160 processors in a single rack, custom remote management software and a cluster management appliance—as well as support for high-speed interconnects—the HyperBlade would be a worthwhile addition to large Linux cluster environments.

Excellence Awards Winners and Finalists: