Rackable Intros Modular Data Centers With IBM Blades


Rackable Systems is adding NEBS-compliant IBM blade servers to its ICE Cube modular data center for use in telco and other harsh computing environments.

Rackable, which custom-builds its ICE Cube modular data centers to order, including servers, networks, storage, and applications in a portable container, will use the IBM BladeCenter as its only blade server option, said Tony Corrozza, senior vice president of the Fremont, Calif.-based vendor.

This includes the BladeCenter T, which fits eight blades in an 8U format, and the BladeCenter HT, which supports 12 blades in a 12U format. The BladeCenter T was introduced in 2004, while the BladeCenter HT was introduced in 2006.

The reseller arrangement with IBM will enable Rackable to expand beyond its traditional internet and cloud computing customer base into new markets, Corrozza said.

This stems from IBM's BladeCenter T and BladeCenter HT families' NEBS (Network Equipment-Building System) Level 3 and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) certifications, which make the platform suitable for use in telecommunications environments and carrier facilities, and in extreme environments such as remote construction sites or oil fields, Corrozza said.

Rackable, which also custom-builds servers, has a hybrid server solution with some blade-like features, Corrozza said. "But it doesn't have the resiliency and redundancy of the BladeCenter," he said. "With the BladeCenter, customers get the redundancy, resiliency, and manageability not available with other types of servers. So it's complimentary and additive to what we already offer."

Tim Dougherty, director of BladeCenter strategy for IBM, said there is the potential for market conflict between the Rackable modular data center with the BladeCenter option and IBM's own family of modular data centers.

"I expect some level of conflict from time to time," he said. "But we will work with customers to bring them what they want. This and#91;Rackable offeringand#93; is aimed at expanding the market for both IBM and Rackable."