Blade servers gain enterprise approval

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Blade servers gain enterprise approval

Acceptance at last, claims research firm.

Blade servers are finally gaining acceptance for enterprise computing, research published today has claimed.

According to a survey of 130 server professionals conducted by research firm TheInfoPro, over 85 per cent of respondents reported that blade servers are 'valuable' or 'critical' to their long-term server plans.

This compares with previous research, conducted by TheInfoPro in the final quarter of 2005, which found that 6 percent had 'no interest' in blades, while another eight per cent were 'sceptical'.

Users continue to be evenly split between 'scaling out' (adding processing power through the addition of small units such as blades) and 'scaling up' (adding processing power through virtualising larger systems).

But the blade option is no longer taking a back seat to virtualisation. TheInfoPro reports that many users cited plans to virtualise on blades.

The poll found that blade servers based on Intel processors have risen steadily in popularity among respondents.

Research conducted in the fourth quarter of 2005 found that 25 per cent of users cited little or no cost benefits as a major inhibitor to blade deployment, and many were citing acquisition cost and not factoring in lowered operational costs.

In the current research, this percentage has dropped to under 10 percent.

The study noted that blade users have become more pragmatic, as the benefits users cite have dropped from complex and futuristic such as automated failure to simple space consolidation.

"User opinion of blade servers has shifted from disappointment over unfulfilled promises, to acceptance and understanding of just where blades fit in the enterprise," said Bob Gill, chief research officer at TheInfoPro.

"As vendors have toned down the hype over blades, users are increasingly viewing blades as simply another form factor with unique advantages and disadvantages, rather than some radically new server type."
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