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Fujitsu just announced a new blade server system using a custom designed motherboard optimized for the form factor of the chassis so that they have been able to fit 18 blades with two CPUs each into a compact 10U package. This contrasts with the rather weak Cisco design that manages to fit all of 6 blades into the same form factor.

The Primergy BX900 – Dynamic Cube is based on Intel Xeon 5500 Nehalem processors operating at a maximum 95W TDP. A higher power chip than can be supported in similar IBM blade equipment.

I am a little confused by the published specification because if Fujitsu can support 95W processors in both sockets for all 18 slots, that would be 3.42kW/chassis on processors alone. CPU power represents about 60% of a RAM-packed server power budget, so that would actually be closer to 5.7kW for such a fully loaded VMware ready machine. However, the chassis PSU is only rated to 3.2kW (that’s the minimum UPS specification).

Interestingly, the BX900 only supports 10Gb Ethernet and Fiber Channel with no planned support for FCoE. That is a surprise, as FCoE seems to be the direction that the market is taking these days with support from both Cisco and Brocade. Apparently, InfiniBand is coming in future releases.

Fujitsu says it is planning to update its ServerView management software to support blade server systems from competitors including Dell, HP and IBM. This is interesting and useful from an operations perspective unless the site is already standardized on InSite Manager.

Fujitsu make claims about improved cooling efficiency by designing the openings in the front and back of the blade system better to enhance airflow. Fujitsu have, delivered improved energy efficiency from a switch to internal DC power distribution, with a more efficient shared power unit rather than individual power units per blade.

This is a nice piece of equipment from Fujitsu that will help them further compete in the general blade server market, they can offer higher density, higher performance CPUs and better more efficient internal power conversion and distribution than the competition.