IBM aims to take a slice out of SMB blades

Big Blue is aiming to persuade SMBs to cut their teeth on blade servers, with the launch of a server system targeted at smaller companies. IBM claims its new BladeCenter S can cut the number of servers an average SMB runs by up to 85 percent and can be managed by a lone IT administrator.

Big Blue is aiming to persuade SMBs to cut their teeth on blade servers, with the launch of a server system targeted at smaller companies.

IBM claims its new BladeCenter S can cut the number of servers an average SMB runs by up to 85 percent and can be managed by a lone IT administrator.

The BladeCenter S system is designed to pack the standard small office apps, including security, e-mail and backup and is sized to sit on top of the average desktop, according to the hardware maker, and plug into standard power outputs.

IBM believes SMBs are now ripe for the adoption of blades, originally aimed at power hungry larger corporates.

Blade servers are often touted as one way for businesses to cut their energy consumption. Sustainability Victoria, an organisation that partners with the state government and individual businesses to encourage Victorians to use resources more efficiently, recently cut its own power usage by 50 percent following its decision to move to blades.

According to analysts Gartner, blade systems remain a high growth sector for servers, with a 33 percent year-on-year increase for 2006, compared to a nine percent growth across the market overall. Hewlett-Packard and IBM dominate blades between them, sharing a 74 percent global market share.