Blade servers have been around for many years, so it was mildly surprising that IBM chose to feature them as the “next big thing” in hardware technology at a recent briefing for industry analysts. Despite being late to the party, the case for blades that IBM executives made was quite convincing. You don’t have to rely on our interpretation, however, because the presentation was video taped and can be seen on IBM’s own web site. Just click on the opening screen below to see what I mean.

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By the way, IBM was even hip enough to load the darn thing onto YouTube for those of you who also want to poke around to see what whatever stupid things Brittany or Paris have done recently.

For those not familiar with the idea, a blade is nothing more than a way of packing computer electronics in a compact and convenient way. The name comes from their appearance. Computer processors, storage media and even backup devices are packaged into standard sized containers that fit into slots in a chassis…a specially designed enclosure that provides things such as power, cooling, and other services to the blades.

Why should you care? Blades offer a highly cost effective way to save space, electricity, and air conditioning while dramatically reducing the need for cabling between units. A television ad IBM has been running recently focuses attention on the advantages of blades by showing a threatening-looking giant ball of cables and then assuring us that blade technology will remove this from our list of things to obsess over.

Blade servers are a subject of great potential interest to the JD Edwards community because IBM is due soon to make it possible for i5/OS, which roughly 70% of you make use of, to run on special blades built around IBM’s latest POWER6 processor technology. Rumor has it that the announcement of this breakthrough is, at most, a few months away.

Whenever IBM makes it official and brings i5/OS to blades, The JD Edwards Advisor will have the full story for you along with a complete analysis of exactly what it means. In the meantime, keep your eye on this topic and, if you have time, check out the video of IBM’s presentation. It could open your eyes to a fascinating new option for removing some of that clutter from your computer room while saving money as well.

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