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Intel Wrapping-up Blade Line To Introduce New Server/Storage Architecture

Intel is quietly wrapping up its whitebox server blade product line as it prepares to bring out a new architecture more in line with its small and midsize business partners.

CRN has learned from channel sources that Intel is in the process of end-of-lifing its entire server blade product line, including its Server Compute Blade SBXD132, its Server Blade Chassis SBCE, its Gigabit Ethernet switches, and other associated products.

Instead, the company looks set to introduce a new architecture based on a rack-mount enclosure, according to channel sources who saw the device at the Intel Solution Summit in March in San Diego.

The enclosure has space for up to six 1U servers which can be configured for dual-core, quad-core, and “many core” Xeon processors. The 1U servers take up about two thirds of the enclosure, with the rest of the enclosure having space for up to 14 2.5-inch SAS or six 3.5-inch SATA drives. It also includes ten Gbit Ethernet ports, the sources said.

Intel confirmed it is discontinuing its server blade product line, but would not discuss any replacement products.

David Brown, general manager of channel server products and director of marketing for Intel’s Enterprise Platforms and Services division, said the decision to discontinue the server blade line, first introduced over three years, comes as Intel looks to focus on products more suitable for its small and midsize business system builder customers.

Intel’s server blade line, which was developed in conjunction with IBM, was introduced as a way for Intel to see how the market would develop, Brown said. “The blade business is enjoying year-to-year growth,” he said. “But the market needed time to see the direction for SMBs.”

Channel sources indicate that Intel plans to stop taking orders for its server blades on August 31, with the last products expected to ship by mid-November. Brown said he was not at liberty to confirm any timetable.

Brown said Intel is working with OEMs and system builders on their transition to a new product line, which he said will probably be discussed at the Intel Developers Forum conference in September.

“We will likely augment our current product line with products aimed more at SMBs,” he said. “But not necessarily blades. We are looking at several form factors to address that market.”

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Intel, Blade Line, Whitebox server blade, server blade

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