Fujitsu aims for data centres with blade system

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Fujitsu aims for data centres with blade system

Fujitsu has unveiled a new server architecture designed to cut costs for enterprise firms through automated power efficiency and management tools.

The company also revealed its intention to grab a larger share of the server market over the next few years.

The Primergy BX900 blade system comprises a complete environment in a single enclosure, combining up to 18 server and up to six storage blades with LAN and SAN switches, a dedicated management blade and redundant power supplies.

Up to four of the enclosures, which Fujitsu refers to as the 'Dynamic Cube', can be stacked together and managed as a single system, according to the firm. The new hardware will be generally available from 21 May.

A key part of the new architecture is Fujitsu's ServerView Resource Coordinator VE management tool. This simplifies administration by automating the management of pools of virtual and physical servers, providing server lifecycle management and high availability by maintaining standby units.

"It's more than just a blade server design, it's a complete dynamic infrastructure in a box," said Fujitsu senior marketing manager Jelle Vervaeke.

He added that the new architecture is intended to answer the challenges that datacentre customers face today.

"Cutting costs is imperative, but they also need to be able to adapt to change much more rapidly than before," he said.

The BX900 is similar in spirit to other recent datacentre launches such as Cisco's Unified Computing System and HP's BladeSystem Matrix.

However, Vervaeke criticised Cisco's solution as being "built from a network perspective" and said it lacked the dynamic orchestration of Fujitsu's ServerView Resource Coordinator.

"This lets it automatically adapt to the needs of applications running on it, " he explained.

Each BX920 server blade is based on dual Intel Xeon 5500 Nehalem processors with up to 72GB of DDR3 memory. Thanks to a combination of these chips with the chassis' passive cooling and 90 per cent efficient power supplies, customers will see a 25 per cent saving over other systems just through reduced power costs, according to Vervaeke.

Each enclosure also has eight bays for connection blades. These currently take 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel modules, but Infiniband will be available as an option within the next three months.

Fujitsu also said its midplane supports higher bandwidth than in rival blade architectures, claiming its architecture is superior to that of HP, IBM or Dell.

The Primergy BX900 blade system is the first launch from Fujitsu since it took control last year of Fujitsu-Siemens, the joint venture it ran with German IT vendor Siemens.

At the launch event, Fujitsu's senior vice president of x86 servers, Jens-Peter Seick, said the company is aiming to dramatically increase its share of the server market over the next few years.

"We have a very clear growth strategy, and will grow our global footprint from four per cent to seven per cent by 2010 to over 10 per cent by 2012," he said. When questioned, however, he offered no clear picture of how the company intended to take market share from rivals such as HP, IBM and Dell in such a short space of time.

Prices for the Primergy BX900 blade system components have yet to be announced.

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