The BladeCenter S also can be used by large organizations looking to consolidate storage among branch offices.
IBM on Wednesday introduced a BladeCenter S product with shared storage technology that makes it possible for small and medium-sized businesses to use the system in place of multiple storage devices.
The latest product also is aimed at larger organizations looking to consolidate storage among branch offices. Like other tech vendors offering SMB products, IBM claims it has added software that customers can use to manage the system without expending a lot of IT resources.
The BladeCenter S is capable of reducing the 25 to 45 servers used by an average midsize company by up to 80%, according to IBM. That capability is due to IBM adding storage area network technology to provide up to 9 TB of shared storage for business applications, such as IBM Lotus Notes, Oracle, and SAP. The system also supports Microsoft Clustering Server, which is software designed to allow servers to work together as a computer cluster.
Another feature added to the BladeCenter S is software called the Start Now Advisor that guides customers though the setup process for the system chassis in a half hour or less, according to IBM. In addition, the technology has an automatic alert feature that contacts a company's IT service provider when problems are detected.
Customers of the new system include Harley-Davidson Motor and the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center in New York.
IBM plans to make the BladeCenter S with shared storage capabilities generally available this month. Pricing, which includes power supplies, fans, rack rails, and DVD/CD combo drive, starts at $2,599.
Server Market SplitsvilleJust because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.