"It's an important move for Sun, whose bread and butter
is selling the networked computers called servers, comparatively
powerful machines that handle everything from hosting Web sites to
conducting all the trades on the New York Stock Exchange. Sun was
beaten to the blade market by competitors including Compaq
Computer, Hewlett-Packard and start-ups such as RLX Technologies.
Sun's machines — 16 single-processor servers in a cabinet
5.25 inches thick — are part of the first wave of Sun's
blades, Fowles said. In 2003, Sun will release a dual-processor
model and then more radical "second wave" designs, he said.
Sun isn't the only one with fevered blade development under way.
Dell Computer will release its blade servers in mid-2002, said Joe
Sekel, a designer in Dell's server architecture group. IBM plans to
unsheathe its "Excalibur" blades early in the fourth quarter, said
Intel server Chief Technology Officer Tom Bradicich."