A compilation of blade server-related news:
HP acquires blade pioneer RLX
Earlier this month, Hewlett-Packard acquired Spring, Texas-based blade server pioneer, RLX Technologies. RLX no longer manufactures hardware and instead, makes blade server management tools. HP plans to integrate RLX's Linux-based management software, RLX Control Tower into its own management suite. "Following our recently announced acquisitions of AppIQ and Peregrine Systems, RLX represents another step in HP's expanding enterprise management capabilities to help enterprise and small and medium business customers simplify their IT environments and cut costs," said Rick Becker, vice president and general manager, HP BladeSystem.
Egenera backs Xen
Marlboro, Mass.-based blade startup Egenera has announced support for the open source hypervisor Xen. The company partnered with Palo Alto, Calif.-based XenSource, Inc. to deliver the virtualization layer. Egenera will integrate Xen's virtualization capabilities with its virtualization and provisioning management tool, Egenera PAN Manager. "We believe that managing virtual resources is the next big battleground in the industry and that Xen is emerging as a key technology for the enterprise," said Pete Manca, senior vice president of engineering at Egenera.
Mercury unveils Cell-based blade
Chelmsford, Mass.-based Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. unveiled a blade server based on the IBM Cell BE (Broadband Engine) processor. The machine is designed to address computationally intensive applications in aerospace and defense, seismic, semiconductor test, and medical imaging, as well as other markets. Availability of the Dual Cell-Based Blade is planned for Q1 of calendar 2006, and production is planned for the following quarter. The Dual Cell-Based Blade will run on Linux, and Mercury will provide Eclipse-based open source software framework.
IBM, Novell offer chassis-based blade pricing
IBM's BladeCenter customers can now get chassis-based pricing for Novell Inc.'s SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. The catch is that all blades must be running the OS. This new pricing model starts at $2,792 per annual Novell subscription for all 14 blades in the BladeCenter chassis, regardless of the types and quantities of CPUs being used. "With this new BladeCenter chassis subscription, we are enabling customers to simply and flexibly manage their IT infrastructure at potentially reduced overall cost," said Doug Balog, vice president and business line executive, IBM BladeCenter.
Dig Deeper on Server hardware strategy
Editor's note: Do blade servers only boot from a SAN? Does virtualizing on a blade server create an I/O problem? Is it a PC blade or a virtual PC running on a blade server? Find out the answers in this tip.
IT pros may have heard some scary rumors about virtualizating with blades. In my profession, I've heard them all: blade servers cost too much, they require too much power and cooling, etc. This is common with all new IT technologies as they emerge and mature. Strengths are enhanced by vendors and weaknesses tend to be inflated by skeptics. In many cases, the flaws of the early product releases create concerns and horror stories that live long after those flaws have been addressed.
This appears to be the case with a number of issues around blade server systems, and in particular, around blades and virtualization. In this series, I'll debunk the myths and tell you what's overhyped.
In part one of this column series, I addressed myths about costs, power and cooling, and processing comparisons of blades versus rack servers. Now let's turn to the last three myths around blades and virtualization.