Compaq argues against blade standards

Despite the prospect of integrating its line with that of current rival Hewlett-Packard, Compaq stands firm against HP's proposal for a blade server standard

Compaq remains adamant that there is no requirement for a standard for blade server products, which it is delivering along with other suppliers including Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM. Currently, all suppliers' blades are a different size and shape, although HP has called for all vendors to adopt CompactPCI as a blade standard. "Maybe some day we will need a blade standard," said Paul Santeler, vice president for management, networking, and high availability products, in Europe on a tour to promote Compaq's blade servers launched in January. "For now the shelf is the standard." Shelves from different suppliers, which each hold different numbers of their suppliers' blades, can be mixed in the same racks, he pointed out. Although mixing blades from different vendors might give users the prospect of getting value for money, it would have problems, he said: "If you plug a Dell blade into an HP shelf, who is going to come and fix it for you? It brings up more problems than it answers." Depending on the final result of the merger with HP, this answer may change in the future, but Santeler would not comment on strategic discussions for the proposed merged company, which are being carried out in a "clean room" by delegates from both companies.

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