IBM puts SSD drives in new blades

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IBM puts SSD drives in new blades

IBM is to start offering Flash-based SanDisk solid state drives in its blade servers.

SanDisk's Sata 5000 2.5in solid state drive will be offered for data storage within IBM's BladeCenter HS21 XM.

Analyst firm IDC reported recently that blade servers are the fastest growing sector of the overall server market, with revenues projected to surpass US$11bn by 2010.

Using the solid state drives should allow the BladeCenter HS21 XM to realise power savings of up to 18W per blade, equating to 252W per chassis or 1,512W per server rack, according to IBM.

"IBM is the first major blade vendor to deliver enterprise-class solid state storage within blade servers," said Scott Tease, worldwide marketing manager for IBM BladeCenter.

"SanDisk's SSD uses up to 87 percent less power than a conventional hard disk drive and runs with no moving parts, eliminating a common point of disk failure and making the HS21 XM blade even more reliable."

While solid state drives are faster, more reliable, more power efficient, cooler and quieter than their mechanical counterparts, Flash-based storage is currently much more expensive and offers lower capacities than platter-based hard drives.

Tikiri Wanduragala, a senior consultant for System x at IBM, told that the idea is to have "no moving parts on the blade itself" thereby offering much higher reliability.

The solid state drive on the blade will run the operating system and any running applications, with a connection to a San or Serial-Attached-SCSI switch to provide the necessary bulk data storage and back-up.

IBM will gauge the market reaction to the inclusion of solid state drives in its BladeCenter HS21 XM before deciding on further rollouts into other products.

SanDisk currently offers solid state drives in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB capacities, and is aiming to have 128GB versions available by 2008 and 256GB versions by 2010.
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