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April 5, 2010

Blades to represent significant portion of server market, says IDC

Virtualisation adoption moves in parallel with blade adoption

By CBR Staff Writer

Majority of IT organisations are leveraging blades in strategic initiatives within their IT infrastructure, according to a new survey by market intelligence firm IDC.

The survey also found that the respondents identifying blades as a key part of their strategic initiatives have a higher rate of virtualisation on their blades, paving the way for transition to private clouds within the datacentre.

According to the survey, blade deployments are poised to remain largely datacentre centric, with more than two-thirds of blades residing within a datacentre rather than a server room or closet. Where blades were identified as a key part of a larger initiative, many of these could be considered dynamic initiatives aimed at increasing speed and flexibility of IT, including storage virtualisation, migration and consolidation initiatives, and utility/dynamic computing.

Blades support various applications, with no single workload representing more than 26% share. The survey found that business processing workloads to be the most common workload (25.3%), followed by IT infrastructure with 21.7% and application development and industrial R&D with 17.6%.

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IDC said IT organisations are more likely to virtualise on a blade server than on any other type of server form factor. For survey respondents that provided the percentage of their blades that were virtualised, the average was 38% running some type of virtualisation. Virtualisation adoption moves in parallel with blade adoption within the customers’ computing environment.

The research firm expects blades to continue to be an engine of growth for the server industry, with survey respondents indicating that blades will represent a significant portion of server purchases over the next two years.

Jed Scaramella, senior research analyst of enterprise platforms and datacentre trends and strategies at IDC, said: Blades are the foundation servers for converged systems, which will become the building blocks of private clouds.

Enterprises are on an evolutionary path away from disparate IT silos toward virtual resource pools that form an internal cloud infrastructure. To date, IDC has seen blades assist customers down the path toward consolidation and virtualisation, and eventually, a private cloud.

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