Fujitsu Dips Into EMEA For $300M


Fujitsu Siemens Computers is buying into blade server pioneer Egenera’s
approach to utility computing to the tune of $300 million over the next
three years.


In an exclusive OEM deal aimed at improving its corporate computing
offerings in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Fujitsu Siemens
Computers will resell Egenera’s BladeFrame hardware and software into its
Primergy server portfolio.


Beyond gaining a virtual lock in EMEA for blade servers, Fujitsu said in a
statement the co-branded Primergy BladeFrame will be a key contributor to
the company’s Dynamic Data Center (DDC) and Triole strategies. These models
call for the virtualization and pooling of server, networking and storage
resources.


Egenera makes “stateless” blade servers, meaning they consist of a processor
and memory but no disks. The BladeFrame’s Processing Area Network (PAN)
software allocates and repurposes servers to applications as needed without
manual intervention.


This is an integral characteristic of a utility computing schema, where
computing tasks may be provisioned on-the-fly. Such computing scenarios
often involve farms or grids of blade servers housed in larger racks, which
is where blade manufacturers see value.


The combination of the Egenera blades, along with its DDC hardware specs and
Triole software, is Fujitsu’s stab at on-demand computing. Fujitsu hopes to
use its portfolio to gain more market share at the expense of server rivals
IBM, HP, Sun Microsystems and Dell.


There’s little question Fujitsu has now done that in terms of offering
blades in EMEA; they are a lucrative niche all over the world.


According to the most recent server figures from IDC, the market for modular
blade servers reaped $440 million for the second quarter. IBM remained the
top blade seller, with 41 percent market share. HP was second at 38.6
percent.


Meanwhile, Egenera gains immediate presence overseas in EMEA, said Susan Davis, vice president of products for Egenera.


“We had a small sales office in the U.K. and in Germany, and over the past
year we’ve started to make some inroads,” Davis said in an interview. “But there is no question that overnight this gives
us the kind of presence and brand and customer access that we never could
have achieved organically.”


Egenera, which plans to close the year at over $100 million in sales,
counts America Online, Credit Suisse First Boston and Goldman
Sachs among its customers.


To illustrate Egenera’s growth, Davis said the company had a couple dozen
customers by the end of 2003 but now has over 100.

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