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Fujitsu Seeks Cut of IBM, HP Blade Server Share

Fujitsu Computer Systems has made significant improvements to its Primergy blade system, improving performance and reducing energy consumption.

The improved performance is designed to give users faster access to data, quicker application access as well as more efficient and stable communication between the server blades and other system components. The Primergy BX600 S3 blade chassis features a new midplane that Fujitsu said offers three times the I/O throughput of earlier models.

With interfaces for up to 60 1Gbit Ethernet cables and end-to-end Fiber Channel connections, the system offers speeds up to 4Gbits per second. A big part of the performance story is a new Primergy BX620 S4 blade based on Intel's latest Xeon 5300 quad-core processor.

The BX620 S4 recently set a world record SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark for dual-socket servers, according to Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Fujitsu Computer Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited.

A BX620 S4 blade server running two quad-core 2.66GHz Intel Xeon X5355 processors (8 Cores, 8 Threads) with SAP ERP 2005, Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and SQL Server 2005 with 1,870 users resulted in an average dialogue response time of 1.95 seconds.

IDC analyst Jean Bozman said better I/O performance helps makes blade systems in general, and Fujitsu's in particular, more attractive to enterprise customers. "The I/O throughput is very important for database and line of business applications," Bozman told internetnews.com. "For any enterprise application where you have to update a database, and that includes multi-tiered applications like CRM and Microsoft Exchange, there's a lot of I/0 traffic."

The Primergy BX600 S3 chassis and Primergy BX620 S4 blade server are shipping now with prices starting at $1,948 and $7,176 respectively.

"We're seeing an increased pick up by customers, not just at the edge of the network and Web applications, but moving more to the center of customer networks with ERP on SAP and Exchange running," John Rodriguez, Fujitsu's senior product manager for Primergy servers, told internetnews.com.

Though trailing blade system leaders HP  and IBM , Rodriguez said Fujitsu has about five percent of the global market for blades and grew about eight percent in the last quarter. He notes the new third generation Fujitsu chassis offers compatibility with older models. "We've been able to preserve forward and backward compatibility for our modules front and back."

On the energy side, Rodriguez said Fujitsu's system has a larger airflow intake than its leading competitors. "We can have large fans spinning more slowly," he said. "Our servers are extremely efficient."

Bozman said Fujitsu has been able to leverage its mainframe expertise to bring innovation to the blade side. "They've outfitted these systems with a lot of support for enterprise workloads," she said.

Rodriguez noted Fujitsu also offers AMD Opteron-blades for the same chassis and will continue to offer multiple processors. "We have a wide portfolio of blades," he said.