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For Infrastructure & Operations Professionals

The Forrester Wave™: Blade Server Systems, Q2 2009

HP And IBM Lead, With Dell And Sun Close Behind

May 28, 2009

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  • By James Staten
  • with Galen Schreck,
  • Christian Kane

Why Read This Report

In Forrester's 44-criteria evaluation of blade server system vendors, we found that HP and IBM lead the pack because of the maturity and breadth of their offerings. Dell is a Leader as well that debuted a greatly improved new chassis in 2008 and is building out a powerful suite of management software with its strategic partners. Sun Microsystems is another Leader, and its offering is the most unique, providing more-flexible network input/output (I/O) configuration and the most blades accommodating high memory configurations. Fujitsu's blade solution is a strong contender due to an emphasis on beefy configurations, myriad internal storage options, and a comprehensive set of free configuration, installation, and setup services. While HP appears as the clear Leader in the default weightings, other vendors are just as distinguished when alternative use cases are depicted by adjusting scoring weightings as shown in the second scenario this report presents. All blade systems provide customers with a highly optimized server solution that is much easier to manage than standalone rack servers; blade systems eliminate many components and cables and deliver significantly better power efficiency. Blades are an ideal match to server virtualization, as they maximize the IT consolidation and flexibility benefits of this technology. There's no bad choice among these competitors.

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Table of Contents

  • Blade Servers Drive Infrastructure Efficiency
  • Blade System Specialization Drives Optimization For Key Customer Segments
  • But Doesn't Specialization Lead To Customer Lock-In?
  • For Most Enterprises, The General-Purpose Blade Systems Fit Best
  • Blade Server Systems Evaluation Overview
  • All Systems Evaluated Are Strong Offerings
  • Each Vendor's Solution Is A Leader Depending On Your Unique Needs
  • Alternate Use Cases Shuffle The Rankings
  • Vendor Profiles
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents