RLX Technologies, an early developer of blade servers aimed at packing as many servers as possible into an industry-standard 19-inch rack, is beginning to turn to the channel for help in expanding its market.
The company, which has focused on the direct channel since it started shipping its ServerBlade products in May, is just now starting to develop its channel programs, said Christopher Hipp, one of three people who founded the company in January 2000.
RLX initially plans to look for direct solution providers, and shortly open its product lines to distribution, said Hipp. "We are looking for resellers who can take our products to the customers, and bundle them with software to extend their capabilities," he said.
Before founding RLX, Hipp founded and ran Digital Media Performance Labs, a solution provider in the graphics and video industry, from 1995 to 2000. He said he was the first solution provider to work with Cobalt Networks, a server appliance vendor, which last year was acquired by Sun Microsystems.
RLX earlier this month introduced a new chassis for its blade servers. The chassis is 1U (about 1.75 inches) high, and can pack six server blades in a single box with hot-swap blade and power supply capability, dual-load balancing and three 100BaseT Ethernet ports per blade. The chassis lists for $999, and each server blade lists for $999 to $2,000, depending on configuration, said Hipp.
"This is a great reseller product for small ISPs and departments where a 24-server [RLX System 324] chassis is not needed," Hipp said.
The RLX server blades are based on the Transmeta Crusoe 633MHz processor. Hipp said the company may also incorporate Transmeta's 667MHz and 800MHz processors, the latter of which he expects to be available late in the first quarter of next year.
Also coming from RLX in the near future are new 60-Gbyte hard drives from IBM designed specifically to be run in data centers on a 24x7 basis, said Hipp. With the new hard drives, RLX will be able to squeeze a maximum of 336 servers and 40 Tbytes of storage capacity in a single rack, he said.
RLX is the last of three developers of compact, low-power servers based on the Transmeta Crusoe processor. Earlier this year, FiberCycle, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based start-up looking to pack up to 504 processors into a single rack, and Ottawa-based Rebel.com, which entered the market with Crusoe-based desktop systems, closed their doors.