RLX Blade Servers Evolve

by Don Marti

In a set of set of tweaks to meet customer demand, RLX Technologies is offering a new blade server, distribution, chassis and a management software marketing deal.

RLX Technologies is offering a new blade server with more memory, a 133MHz front-side bus, and a slightly faster Transmeta CPU. Although CPU speed is only going up from 633MHz to 667MHz, the new blades are around 46% faster on some benchmarks, said RLX director of product marketing Emil Sayegh. The new maximum memory capacity is 1152MB, of which 128MB is DDR RAM.

The 633MHz blade is still available, and the original and new flavor are priced at $999 and $1199 respectively. Bundle deals for new buyers include the required chassis, which provides power, networking and cooling. Two sizes of chassis are available: a 3U that holds 24 blades, and a new 1U that holds 6. Storage options are unchanged -- one or two 10GB or 30GB laptop-style IDE hard drives per blade.

Blades now come with Red Hat 7.2 and 180 days of Red Hat Network support. Customers can also order a blade preinstalled with RLX's SNMP-based Control Tower management software. A Debian-based load is available for customers who ask nicely, or servers can be ordered without an OS preinstalled.

RLX is also beginning a joint sales and marketing agreement with server management software vendor Ensim. The company already has a distribution deal with IBM.

The software load has some extra drivers in the kernel to handle the blade's management features and on-board watchdog timer, said John Schmitz, manager of product marketing, and the drivers are available under the GPL.

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