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Issue of October 2002 
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Blades technology may move beyond the rack

After its successful establishment on the server rack, Blades technology is all set to move to networking equipment, storage devices and even desktops.

Blade servers are based on a space-saving design in which ultra-thin computers are mounted vertically in specialized racks. The concept is akin to adapter cards mounted in slots on a PC's motherboard.
As it prepares to launch its own range of blade servers (called IBM eServer BladeCenter), IBM is thinking about taking the concept to other pieces of network infrastructure.

IBM can fit 84 of its blade servers, each containing two 2.4GHz Intel Xeon processors, into a six foot rack. Typically, these racks can hold 42 servers at most. The computing giant is working on blades that will accommodate four Xeon processors, hold Intel's Itanium or IBM's own Power 4 processors for more arduous computing tasks, incorporate several hard drives or accommodate networking equipment.

With that kind of computing power, blades could potentially run databases or be deployed for server consolidation.
IBM will begin to incorporate technologies found in its other lines into the BladeCenter. It will also work with other software developers and hardware manufacturers to tune or co-develop other products for BladeCenter.

In another development, a start-up company named ClearCube wants to use the blade design for super-thin workstations. The company envisages the office of the future in which users would have monitors, mice and keyboards on their desks, but the CPU and storage components would be placed in super-thin computers that would be stored in a centralized computer room.

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