IBM Cuts Price of BladeCenter S SAS Module in Half
February 9, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In case you haven’t gotten the message, small and medium businesses, IBM really wants you to use its entry BladeCenter S chassis as your entire data center and stop buying rack and tower servers and other gear. Now that the BladeCenter S has disk expansion thanks to a new SAS module, this is possible. But it is still pricey.
And so, IBM has announced a special promotion, available for customers who buy directly from Big Blue’s online store, a 50 percent discount off the BladeCenter S SAS RAID controller module. The discount went live on February 3, and will be in effect until April 30.
As we previously reported, the SAS RAID controller module for the BladeCenter S chassis puts together a SAS disk switch and a RAID disk controller and crams them into the same form factor that legacy Ethernet switches inside the BladeCenter chassis have. The module can have two RAID controllers, two SAS switches, and two battery backups for redundancy; it connects to two of IBM’s existing six-disk blade storage enclosures. The integrated SAS switch inside the module has two 4X (3 Gb/sec) SAS switches for linking to the disk enclosures and six 1X (also 3 Gb/sec) SAS links back to the blade server hosts inside the BladeCenter S chassis. Each blade server can be configured with redundant links to the disk modules. The disk module can use a variety of 3.5-inch disks in 10K and 15K RPM speeds and supports mirroring as well as RAID 5 data protection on the disks.
The normal list price for a configured SAS RAID controller module is $3,499, but with the promotional price, that drops to $1,749.50. I was told back in September when the module launched that a bare bones SAS RAID controller module costs $1,069 without any disks. I presume that the $3,499 includes some other electronics or disks; the IBM online site doesn’t really give configuration information, as you can see for yourself. Go figure.