"Server blades are the newest--and hottest--trend in data center technology. Blades take the idea of server density to the extreme by combining all server system hardware--the CPU, memory, disk drives, and network connections--onto a single expansion card, or "blade." Such consolidation presents a compelling alternative for reducing power, cooling and space requirements which, in turn, can yield improved server reliability and lower TCO.
A real advantage to dense blade deployment is the ease and speed with which you can add more servers. Rather than wasting hours installing yet another incompatible rack-mounting rail kit, administrators can plug in a new server in mere seconds. Replacing a damaged server is just as easy. Each blade is completely independent of the others--inserting or removing a blade has no effect on any other operational blade in the same chassis.
While companies such as Dell and Compaq have announced plans to release server blade products, two vendors are already shipping products. The first to market was startup RLX Technologies, with its RLX System 324 product. HP is the first major vendor to market with its blade server. The two companies' very different approaches to blade servers suggest that the emerging blade server market may take some time to converge on standards useful to a majority of customers."
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