Dell Puts Blades on a Fibre Diet

Dell said its PowerEdge 1855 blade server may now connect to a McData switch, part of a bid to lure new customers with the promise of more flexibility.

Customers can now connect and run up to two McData 4314 Fibre Channel switches in the Dell blade enclosure, allowing customers to tap into a storage area network (SAN).

Fibre Channel traffic is aggregated in the switch from a daughter card port on each blade server to four uplink ports that connect directly to storage or other Fibre Channel switches.

The idea is that, by providing more connectivity options, Dell will be able to serve more customers. Clients of the 1855 won’t need to buy additional equipment to make the blade server work in their data center, said Tim Golden, director for PowerEdge servers at Dell.

Sales of the 1855, which also supports Ethernet, Fibre Channel and InfiniBand connectivity hardware from Dell, Intel, Brocade, QLogic and Topspin, have been growing at a nice rate for the PC maker.

Dell only released the PowerEdge 1855 last November, but was able to boost its market share for x86 blades with two processors from 4 to 12 percent from fourth quarter 2004 to the first quarter 2005, according to IDC.

The research firm expects the fast-growing blade market to hit $8.5 billion by 2009, as shipments increased by 68.2 percent and factory revenue gained 106 percent in the first quarter of 2005. Led by IBM with 39.2 percent of the market, blade servers accounted for $409 million in the quarter.

That has led Dell to believe it could do better against market leaders IBM and HP, which own more than 60 percent of the blade market.

The McData 4314 Fibre Channel switch for the Dell PowerEdge 1855 is available now, with pricing for a single switch starting at $8,999. This includes four Short Wave Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) optical transceivers.

Article courtesy of Internet News

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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