Our blade architecture is very easy to integrate servers and storage into the same form factor.
Our system can actually operate in the hot row. If you look at our rack, blades slide into both sides. There is no back or front. The cooling is all through the center. We draw air in through the base and accelerate it toward the top.
Normally, the servers at the base of the rack get all the cooling, and the ones at the top of the rack take what they can. We draw in more than 2,400 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air. Each blade is getting 100 CFM. We don't have one blade getting 300 CFM and others getting less. Our blades have no cooling on the parts themselves. All of it is provided by the cabinet.
If you're in a raised floor environment, our installations have no problem being in a hot row. We don't draw air in from the ambient room unless we're in a solid floor environment. If your rack is sucking in 2,400 CFM on a raised floor intake, does it create a problem for the surrounding equipment?
No. It seems counterintuitive, but the blade rack creates a pressurized area on the floor. We actually improve poorly circulated areas. The only place that ends up changing is right near the CRAC units themselves. You mentioned the use of off-the-shelf components. What about networking?
We do not embed networking into our rack. Therefore, you can use the Cisco, Force10, whatever you prefer to have on normal rack mount gear. One of the things that's really limited [Marlborough, MA-based] Egenera is closed hardware and networking. They're highly managed, but they don't want anyone else to manage their gear and don't manage others' gear. Beyond Egenera, who do you see as your competition?
IBM and HP are our two main competitors. We're right in their crosshairs and they're in ours. What about Sun's plans to join the blade market?
The market is very skeptical on Sun blades right now. Unless you're a traditional Sun house, you're not taking this very seriously. That's where Sun is seeing the growth in their x86 systems. I don't see Sun taking any business from HP, IBM, Dell or us for that matter.
[Driggers founded San Diego-based Verari 10 years ago. The company recently appointed former EMC-exec David Wright to CEO. Wright will take over the business functions, allowing Driggers to focus on the technology.]