SOURCE: Blade.org

June 19, 2008 17:16 ET

Blade.org Sets in Motion "Mega-Trends" That Will Address Data Center Challenges of the Future

More Than 200 Companies Join Blade.org, Industry Consortium Driving Open Innovation in Blade Server-Based Solutions

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - Blade.org, the industry consortium driving open innovation in blade-based solutions, today convened its inaugural Blade.org Technology Symposium to launch the key "Mega-Trend" innovations that will influence how organizations transform their data centers in the future.

At the Blade.org Technology Symposium today, visionary technologists from Morgan Stanley, The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, GameVee.com and Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors joined with leading suppliers of blade-based data center technology like APC, BLADE Network Technologies, Brocade, Devon IT, Emulex, IBM, Intel, NetApp, NetXen, QLogic, VirtenSys and VMware. These experts detailed the emerging mega-trends of converged networks, advanced energy efficiency and hyper consolidation, which will unify data center I/O on a single wire, reduce energy waste and enable unprecedented data center densities.

Since its inception two years ago, more than 200 companies have joined Blade.org to advance open innovation around blade server-based data centers. The newest members announced today include MetLife, Morgan Stanley and CBS Television. The consortium's additional membership includes leading end-users from financial services, media and entertainment and academia together with top IT vendors of data center hardware and software, services and solutions.

Blade servers integrate servers, storage, networking and applications into one system. These servers continue to outpace the rest of the server market. According to IDC, the blade server market will reach customer revenues of $11.8 billion by 2010.(1)

"Overall, blade servers are becoming increasingly important in the data center, supporting key growth technologies like cloud computing, Software as a Service (SaaS) and hosted services -- some of the hottest areas of investment for Walden," said Andy Kau of Walden International and a member of the Blade.org VC Advisory Council.

The mega-trends that blade.org believes will change the future of business computing are:

Converged Networks: Today data centers use separate "input/output (I/O) lanes" for data networking, storage traffic and inter-process communications, each of which require their own adapters, connectors and wires. In the future, data centers will converge I/O on Ethernet, running all their traffic on a single "lane" or wire. This convergence is ideal for blade environments because they are tightly packed together with little room for extra components.

Key developments in converged networking include the collaboration between BLADE Network Technologies, Emulex, NetApp and QLogic to pioneer Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) for converged data and storage networks.

Advanced Energy Efficiency: Use of blade technology is anticipated to represent more than 25 percent of server deployments by 2010. The need to dissipate the heat generated by this highly power-dense technology must keep pace; however, in recent years, traditional cooling system design has proven inadequate to remove concentrated heat loads. In the future, data centers will minimize energy use and reduce carbon footprint by turning to such alternatives as water-cooled and/or container-based data centers and close-to-chassis heat rejection that can eliminate much of the 45 percent of electrical energy in the data center that is wasted by today's cooling systems.

"Gartner states that in-rack and in-row cooling will emerge as the predominant cooling strategy by 2011 for high-density equipment," said Blade.org Technology Symposium presenter Jim Simonelli, chief technology officer of APC. "This strategy closely couples the cooling unit to the heat emanating from the rack or row of servers. The design eliminates performance uncertainties and hot spots that exist -- especially when data center professionals attempt to cool high density racks using a perimeter cooling strategy. Row-oriented cooling also improves energy efficiency since this approach reduces the distance cold air must travel to cool the servers, resulting in reduced fan power -- the dominant source of electrical energy consumption in a data center's cooling system."

"There will be a real focus at the server ingredient level to reduce power requirements and improve energy efficiency while increasing performance," said Symposium presenter Rob Nance, Chief Architect, High Density Computing Group for Intel. "The result will be that data center managers can deploy more compute power in their existing facilities without upgrading their infrastructures."

Hyper consolidation: Today data centers are focused on server consolidation. In the future, clients will "hyper consolidate" servers, workstations and network devices into an integrated blade environment. For example, Blade.org member Devon IT's new approach to dense desktop consolidation on blades achieves exceptional scalability, improved security and tremendous power savings by consolidating desktops on blade servers and delivering graphics and multimedia to the user directly from blade installations.

Blade.org an Industry Pioneer

In a new academic paper from the Pennsylvania State University Department of Management and Organization called "Blade.org: A Collaborative Community of Firms," Professor Charles C. Snow writes, "Founded in early 2006, Blade.org, a successful community of member firms, was creatively designed to emulate the characteristics and processes of a community of individuals. We believe that the community-of-firms model is particularly well suited to the pursuit of continuous innovation, and we expect to see this organizational approach used increasingly as firms come to realize the value to be gained from multi-firm collaboration both within and across industries. Blade.org, the pioneer of this new approach, shows that a community of firms can be a successful means of innovation, and its role as a community facilitator is worthy of study and imitation."

New Blade User Portal

The Blade.org Customer Advisory Council is introducing a new portal at http://www.bladeuser.org to serve as an information source for blade server users. Bladeuser.org is an open portal that provides an online forum for blade computing users to voice observations, ask questions and make comments about blade configurations, products and services. The Bladeuser.org mission is to give blade users a public and prominent voice and to encourage user-to-user dialog and user-to-supplier interaction. Initial forums will address topics including storage, virtualization and power consumption.

"Blade.org provides an invaluable interchange between users of blade servers and the vendor community," said Kyle Ohme, Chairman of the Blade.org Customer Advisory Council. "Now that so many companies have deployed blade servers, many blade users have expressed the desire to join in a forum -- like those in many other product categories that enjoy strong adoption -- in which they can interact with their peers as well as the vendor community. Blade.org is becoming a diverse community where vendors can transform end-users' needs for workarounds and custom development into off-the-shelf blade server products and specialized data center solutions."

About Blade.org

Blade.org is a collaborative vendor and end-user community focused on accelerating the development and adoption of blade server solutions. The organization provides leadership to the blade market and fosters a thriving industry ecosystem focused on delivering valuable solutions to blade computing users. For more information, visit http://www.blade.org.

(1) IDC: Worldwide Blade Server 2008-2011 Forecast and 2006 Vendor Share, Doc # 210229, February 2008.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Zee Zaballos
    ZNA Communications
    +1.831.425.1581, ext. 201
    pr@blade.org