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
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