Back in October, I blogged about the efforts of IBM and HP to make blade servers more accessible to SMBs. Though blades once had a reputation (a deserved one) for being too costly and/or complex for most SMBs, the vendors were doing their best to change that, by lowering price points, simplifying technical requirements and shrinking chassis size.
Still, those choices were limited to the big vendors. SMBs couldn't employ their favorite reseller to build a so-called "white box" blade system for them out of lower-cost standard parts. But now they can, thanks to Intel and its modular Clear Bay server.
The new server is based on the Server System Infrastructure Forum's Modular Server Specification, which was introduced last July, reports PCWorld.com.
The 6U-high blade chassis can support up to six two-way server nodes running dual-core or quad-core Xeon processors, 14 hard-disk drives, two storage-control modules, a management module and two Ethernet switch modules, according to the article. With an integrated set of management and storage technologies, SMBs have access to virtual storage mapping, an integrated storage-area network, and diagnostic and single sign-on capabilities.
The VP of sales and marketing for Minneapolis-based reseller Equus Computer Systems calls it "magic" in a ChannelWEB story. "It demystifies all these disparate technologies into one simple solution," he says.
Another reseller says the product is appropriate for companies with 10 to 25 users and can scale as needed. Yet another reseller says his company could offer a two-server solution based on the Clear Bay platform for as little as $8,000, including "substantial disk space and substantial memory." With an open source operating system, he says, it could cost even less.