RESEARCH PAPER: Is “Scalable Blade” an Oxymoron?

By Patrick Moorhead - May 19, 2014
Blade servers solved the problem of density for businesses, but they did so with compromises that limited their appeal for many applications. As complexity of both applications and environments grew, blade infrastructures were limited in their effectiveness for the task. Customers were relegated to lower-density rack servers for their more scalable applications. And while purpose-built systems allowed a business to tailor to their specific needs, they created more management complexity. New flexibility is required to allow modular blade architectures to keep pace with the types of applications that customers need to drive a more agile business. The IBM Flex System X6 family of compute nodes are worth serious consideration for businesses trying to balance the needs of this new generation of agile applications with the desire for more standardization and modularity to hold down total cost of ownership (TCO).

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • The Market is Changing and Traditional Blades Can’t Keep Up
  • Data Changes
  • Cloud Computing
  • IT Economics
  • Picking the Right Tool for the Job
  • True Modular Systems
  • Performance
  • Agility
  • Resiliency
  • Clear Business Benefits
  • Reducing Acquisition Costs
  • Reducing Operational Costs
  • Reducing Downtime Costs
  • Conclusion
  • Figure 1: Market Dynamics
  • Table 1: IBM Flex System X6
  • Table 2: IBM Flex System X6 vs. IBM BladeCenter HX5
  • Table 3: IBM Flex System X6 Memory
  • Figure 2: Scalability
  • Figure 3: Maximizing Uptime
  • Figure 4: Reducing TCO
You can download the paper here.

Companies Cited

  • Facebook
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • VMware
Patrick Moorhead
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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.