IBM targets telecom providers with new blade system

IBM Corp. this week announced an expansion of its blade server lineup with a system designed specifically for telecommunications providers that must adhere to rigorous uptime requirements.

IBM’s BladeCenter T, which is slated to begin shipping in June, is a blade enclosure that is both Network Equipment Building System 3 (NEBS 3) and European Telecommunications Standard Industry (ETSI) certified. It is designed to withstand high temperature, violent shaking, lightning strikes, airborne contaminants, fires and electrostatic discharge, the company says.

The idea behind BladeCenter T is to make these small slices of computing power an attractive option to telecommunications providers whose uptime requirements are often a great deal more stringent than typical corporations. In the past, telcos have had to turn to more expensive, proprietary equipment to meet their needs.

With BladeCenter T, IBM says it is offering an industry standard based system to enable telecom companies and network equipment providers to consolidate resources and cut costs.

All IBM blade servers, switches and modules will operate within the BladeCenter T. The BladeCenter T is larger than the original 7U BladeCenter chassis at 8U high, but has just eight server bays, compared to 14 server bays in the regular BladeCenter chassis. In addition, the BladeCenter T chassis has a shorter depth to allow it to fit into 600mm racks. It supports both DC and AC power.

The new system chassis also includes telecommunications features such as the Telcom Alarm Panel and air input filtering. BladeCenter T systems will include Intel-based blade servers and hardened operating systems such as carrier-grade Linux, IBM says.

The IBM eServer BladeCenter T systems will be available June 25 and will cost about US$7,800.

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