Blade Servers Offer Untapped Sales Potential

Blade manufacturers have spent significant amounts of money marketing the technology, so either that marketing has fallen on deaf ears or solution providers are just not ready to embrace the technology. Either way, it&'s a shame, because those who have made the plunge are reaping many rewards from selling blades.

Combined factors make blade servers attractive to solution providers and their customers.

Three main reasons for selling blade servers all vie equally for top position: Among blade VARs, 32 percent feel that the higher density offered by blades is what drives sales, 32 percent give credit to cost considerations, and 32 percent again say an expanding IT infrastructure is the fuel propelling the sale of blades. The remaining 6 percent cited assorted other No. 1 reasons for selling blades.

The even split in reported top reasons for selling blades seems to indicate that no single factor deserves credit; it is a combination of all three that makes blades attractive to solution providers and their customers.

So, are there any strikes against selling blades? One concern often raised with any new and critical piece of technology is reliability, but here 98 percent of those selling blades report that they offer reliability equal to that of traditional servers. That statistic should put to rest any concerns surrounding failure due to increased heat from the higher densities commonly found among blades.

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The marketing messages behind blades have always touted reduced costs and ease of management as the key benefits of the hardware. A full 80 percent of those polled agreed with those claims, while 20 percent said blades have not lived up to those marketing promises.

The question remains, though: Why are so few selling the technology if blades are offering several sales avenues, are reliable and are living up to their marketing promises? One reason could be that blades are currently impractical for the small-business, single-server network. Another reason could be slowed growth in the enterprise market, or perhaps prospective customers have not yet been educated on the advantages of blade-based solutions.