Fujitsu Unveils Blade Server System Designed For Xeon 5500 Nehalem

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Fujitsu is the latest server vendor to unveil Nehalem-based servers since late March, when Intel unveiled the processor. Other server vendors include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Dell, Intel and Apple.

Fujitsu's new Primergy BX900 "Dynamic Cube" is the first blade server system to be designed specifically for Nehalem processor-based blades, said Manuel Martull, senior director of server marketing for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company.

That includes a new passive midplane for the Nehalem and its follow-on Westmere processors that feature no single point-of-failure, which is a key difference from other vendors' Nehalem-based blade server releases, which are based on pre-Nehalem-designed chassis, Martull said.

"Most blade announcements include investment protection by working with existing chassis," Martull said. "We don't need to worry about that."

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Martull said Fujitsu's timing is perfect with the BX900, as he does not expect other server vendors to refresh their chassis for at least one or two years. "We are trying to future-proof this for the next five to seven years," he said.

The BX900 can be configured with up to 18 blade servers in a 10U-high enclosure, compared to 16 blades in 10U with Hewlett-Packard or Dell, or 14 blades in 9U with IBM, Martull said. The new midplane also offers the fastest bandwidth, at 6.4 Tbits, of all the server vendors, he said.

The BX900 is also an average of 30 percent more energy-efficient than other blade servers because of its redesigned airflow, which keeps the blades cool without the need for high-powered fans. The enclosure also isolates the various airflows in order to prevent hot air from one component polluting the cool air of other components, he said.

Fujitsu also unveiled its ServerView RCVE (Resource Coordination Virtual Edition) management software, a new application that manages both the BX900 blade servers and any virtual servers built on top of those blades.

The software allows administrators to discover and assign both physical and virtual server resources, and allows servers to be manually or automatically migrated. The workloads of idle servers can be moved to other blades before turning them off to save energy, Martull said.

ServerView RCVE also allows the development of low-cost high-availability solutions, Martull said. Using virtualization technology such as VMware's VMotion, one physical blade can act as a spare server for multiple physical or virtual servers, and provides for the automatic failover between servers, he said.

About 40 percent of Fujitsu's server sales go through indirect sales channels. It currently works with Tech Data in the U.S. market, although the company may sign on additional distributors.

The BX900 is expected to ship by May 25.