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September 22, 2003

Blade pact is double-edged

Blade pact is double-edged

The blade idea was spawned during the Internet years, when interest in lower-end servers was intense and spending on them lavish, but the bottom dropped out of the market just as early blades from companies such as RLX arrived. Only now are blade servers from mainstream players trickling to market, but analyst firm IDC expects the category to take off.

"Server blades are on the cusp of tremendous growth in the market," IDC said in a September report. "While they represented only about 3 percent of the server unit shipments in the second quarter of 2003, with sales of 41,000 blades, IDC expects more than 2.2 million blades to ship worldwide by 2007, or about 27 percent of all new servers sold."

Standards for blades, whether set by a neutral group or by the dominance of a particular group, are a significant issue. If IBM and Intel succeed, they will have at least a year's head start developing products. And initial popularity could come with beneficial multiplier effects; a popular blade design could attract partners such as Nortel Networks or F5 Networks with special-purpose blades that plug into the same chassis, bringing new capabilities that could boost the popularity further.

September 22, 2003 in Economics of IT | Permalink


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