Blade Servers becoming Dynamic Platforms for Datacenter of the Future
A recent end-user survey confirms that blade servers are becoming the dynamic platforms for the datacenter of the future. The International Data Corporation (IDC) found that the majority of IT organizations surveyed are now leveraging blades in strategic initiatives within their IT infrastructure. In addition, the respondents identifying blades as a key part of their strategic initiatives were also found to have a higher rate of virtualization on their blades, paving the way for the transition to private clouds within the datacenter.
“The value proposition of blade systems, beyond consolidation and system density, is becoming increasingly clear to customers,” said Jed Scaramella, senior research analyst, Enterprise Platforms and Datacenter Trends and Strategies at IDC. “IT organizations are realizing that blade technologies can help optimize their IT environments to keep pace with ever-changing business demands while simultaneously simplifying their IT infrastructure and improving asset utilization, IT flexibility and energy efficiency.”
Among the survey’s key findings are the following:
• Blade deployments remain largely datacenter-centric. More than two-thirds of blades reside within a datacenter, rather than a server room or closet.
• Blades support a spectrum of applications, with no single workload representing more than 26 percent share. Business processing workloads were the most common workload (25.3 percent), followed by IT infrastructure (21.7 percent). Application development and industrial R&D (17.6 percent) were the third most common workloads.
• Where blades were identified as a key part of a larger initiative, many of these could be considered dynamic initiatives aimed at increasing the speed and flexibility of IT, including storage virtualization, migration and consolidation initiatives, and utility/dynamic computing.
• IT organizations are more likely to virtualize on a blade server than on any other type of server form factor. For survey respondents that provided the percentage of their blades that were virtualized, the average was 38 percent running some type of virtualization — nearly twice the rate for the overall server market.
• Virtualization adoption climbs in parallel with blade adoption within the customers’ computing environment. In other words, the greater the proportion blades represent of the overall IT environment, the greater the proportion of these blades are virtualized.
• Blades will continue to be an engine of growth for the server industry, with survey respondents indicating that blades will represent a significant portion of server purchases over the next two years.
“Blades are the foundation servers for converged systems, which will become the building blocks of private clouds,” added Scaramella. “Enterprises are on an evolutionary path away from disparate IT silos toward virtual resource pools that form an internal cloud infrastructure. To date, IDC has seen blades assist customers down the path toward consolidation and virtualization, and eventually, a private cloud.”
The IDC study, IDC Blade Market Survey: The Dynamic Platform for the Future Datacenter (IDC #222038), focuses on the blade server market by examining survey responses from over 200 enterprise customers. For a comprehensive view of the current state of the blade market, analysis is provided on companies blade deployments, including customer requirements, workloads, form factor benefits, purchasing criteria and vendor perceptions.