Plug And Play Mainframes From IBM - Sorta

IBM was out yesterday with a new blade chassis they are aiming towards small to medium size businesses. (SMB) The idea is to allow businesses that have previously needed a room full of separate servers to integrate them all together and handle the ever-growing list of different essential business computing applications like anti-virus, firewalls, email, data recovery,and all the many other caches of ones and zeros that make the modern information-reliant business run.

Along with SMBs, which IBM defines as 1,000 employees or fewer, the new product could appeal to large retailers or financial institutions with stores or offices distributed over many locations. An IT department in a central retail office, for example, could set up a BladeCenter S, and then ship it to a store where it could be easily deployed. If an application needed to be replaced later, than the IT department could ship a new blade for swapping out the old one.

The new product represents a change in attitude toward blade servers, which were originally designed for server consolidation in large businesses. Blade chassis are capable of integrating servers, storage, networking, and applications into one system.

These days, this versatility is finding a place elsewhere. "This concept of having a data center in a box has appeal for smaller businesses and distributed retail," Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff said.

IBM figures the new units could reduce the number of servers needed to run an SMB --from between 25 to 45 servers -- to as few as five blade servers in one chassis. Spiffy. Now the IT guy will have more time to read HotHardware and Fark all day in his suddenly very spacious room. 
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