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Issue of September 2005 

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Server blades not too popular has released Wave 1 of its server study, and the research group concludes that while blade servers may be a hot item that gets a lot of media coverage, they still aren’t taking workplaces in the US by storm.

According to over 70 in-depth interviews with server professionals conducted by TheInfoPro (TIP), early excitement around blade servers was premature, with unfulfilled expectations slowing adoption. While many users report installing and testing blades, they report putting widespread deployment on hold.

TIP’s patented technology Heat Index factors in the current and planned usage of over 30 different server hardware and software technologies. Blade servers ranked near the middle of the index.

Roughly 35 percent of users see blades as unnecessary, costly and immature. Roughly 40 percent of interviewees have blades in initial pilots, often at the management’s request, and not for a specific or identified need. Only 25 percent of users expect to spend more in 2005 vis-à-vis 2004 on blades, which is low for a supposed growth area. Fully 33 percent actually expect to spend less in 2005 than 2004.

Roughly 25 percent of interviewees are aggressively deploying blades that are critical to operations. While 82 percent of interviewees connect their blade servers to networked storage, only 43 percent boot from their SAN. Most respondents described the benefit of booting blades from a SAN, but were forced into other solutions by technological and political issues. TIP feels that many users are clearly disappointed in the blades' failure to deliver the benefits that were promised. Many expected to see improvements on parameters such as server manageability, along with cost, energy, and space savings, but these are not being delivered by a range of configurations in use.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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