The blade server is a very young technology, tracing its roots back only six years. To fulfill the needs of dot-com technology providers, Houston-based RLX Technologies—now part of Hewlett-Packard Co.—shipped the first blade server in March 2001. Due to disappointing sales, a number of vendors did not refresh their initial blade server product lines. However, Hewlett-Packard and IBM continued to introduce new generations of blade server products that were increasingly suitable for enterprise clients. As the blade server platform began to gain traction, Dell Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. rejoined the market at the end of 2006.
iSuppli defines the blade as a modular server based on a single motherboard incorporating microprocessor(s), memory and network interface. However, the blade may omit a number of components in order to free up space and to reduce power consumption, along with other considerations. The result is a server platform that when combined with other blades, can be physically arranged in an extremely dense way.
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