Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. on Tuesday will begin shipping its first blade server based on Intel Corp.’s Xeon DP processor.

The dual-processor Primergy BX600 slides into a custom 7U (19-inch) high enclosure that can house as many as 10 blade servers. Each of the servers can support as much as 12GB of memory and two UltraSCSI (Small Computer System Interface) hard drives. The BX600 is available with 2.8GHz, 3.06GHz, or 3.20GHz Xeon DP processors.

Blades systems are typically slimmed down servers that slide into a customized enclosure like books into a bookshelf. They are designed to occupy as little space as possible and have met with some acceptance in server farms and high performance computing environments. Industry research firm Gartner Inc. expects 358,000 blades to ship in 2004, a jump of 105 per cent from the 175,000 that shipped last year.

The BX600 is Fujitsu’s second foray into the blade server market, which is dominated by Hewlett-Packard and IBM Corp. Last year, Fujitsu began shipping the BX300, a Pentium-based blade system that can be used to slide 20-blades into a 3U (5.25 inches) high enclosure.

Blades for the BX300 system use a different enclosure from the BX600, so the two types of servers are not interchangeable, according to Fujitsu.

Later this year, Fujitsu plans to ship a four-processor Xeon MP blade that will be compatible with the BX600 enclosure, the company said.

Not counting the US$6,928 for the chassis to house the blades, a single-processor BX600 with 512MB of memory and a 36GB hard drive will sell for US$2,371, Fujitsu said.



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