Feeds

IBM throws sharper blades at SMBs

Networking, financing, servicing. Ker-ching

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

IBM has concocted a new recipe for making blade servers more attractive to small- to medium-sized business. Take some networking, add a dash of services and then wrap the whole package in sweetened financing.

Blade servers have primarily been aimed at larger customers with racks and racks full of servers. IBM, however, hopes to extend the server technology to the little guy by making the boxes easier to manage and cheaper to acquire. While smaller guys might not need the space saving features of blades, they do want to tap the shared networking and management aspects of the systems, according to IBM.

"SMBs very much want the same kind of simplification benefits that the enterprise guys can get," said Tim Dougherty, director of IBM's BladeCenter biz, in an interview with The Register. "The smaller guys don't necessarily have the staff to maintain multiple systems, so blades can be a good way to go."

The first part of IBM's SMB blade package is a $999 "Server Connectivity Module" otherwise known as an Ethernet switch. Perhaps IBM thinks a "module" more palatable than a "switch" to the little guy.

The device has IBM's name on it but is made by Nortel spinoff Blade Network Technologies. To make life easy on SMBs, IBM has color coded the system so that customers can map blades to the ports on the switch.

The second bit of the blade extravaganza comes in the form of a 3.5 days Global Service engagement. IBM's services team will teach the SMB customers the ways of the blade, including networking, heat considerations and management tools. The idea is to get your blades up and running as quickly as possible.

Along similar lines, IBM's financing team is also here to help. IBM has set up a 60-month lease for the BladeCenter chassis and a 36-month lease for the actual blades. There are also "easy outs" at the end of the three-year blade term, Dougherty said. Such a structure makes sense given that customers can hang onto their chassis for quite a bit longer than the blades, which are more dependent on changing components.

Lastly, IBM has a Windows management package that lets blade customers tap into System i (formerly iSeries) boxes.

SMBs have shied from blades for a couple of reasons, including the higher average cost of a blade server and the lack of standards in the market. Each major vendor still ships a proprietary chassis, so why get locked into one vendor when you can keep buying rack-mount systems? In addition, SMBs don't often have the same data center space constraints of larger customers or, in fact, the cooling needed to run several racks of blades.

Dougherty, however, says these SMB problems with blades are fading. The per server cost of a blade versus a standard box moves in favor of the blades when you factor in the shared networking and power management aspects of the BladeCenter chassis, he said. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.