Intel Spins Out Blade Server SIG, Plans Specification

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Intel’s Server Systems Infrastructure (SSI) SIG, now a self-funded independent organization, is targeting a blade server specification to help systems builders get into the market dominated by HP, Dell and IBM.

Looking to spread the goodness of blade servers to systems builders beyond the HPs, Dells and IBMs of the world, the Server Systems Infrastructure (SSI) SIG (special interest group), spawned out of Intel, has gone off on its own as a separate member-funded entity with a mission of making blade server specifications available to the masses.
The newly self-funded group is offering three tiers of membership with the bottom tier fee of $5,000 for the Adopter Member. Those who join at this level get access to the blade server specifications to build too, says Jim Ryan, chair of SSI. Specifications include such details as electronics-based power supplies, fan characteristics and other detailed information about systems components.

Members get access to six specifications for Blade Center and are able to make sure that the switch component that is built to the IBM-developed specification can work with a blade center environment as well as an SSI environment, says Ryan.

"We think that by putting the specifications out there we will tremendously expand the market and shorten the time to market for systems builders who will see significant savings from using syndicated research," says Ryan, who notes that the specifications mean small systems builders will not have to do their own research and development on basic issues. They can use the specs instead, and then they can spend their R&D money on adding other differentiated value.

The SSI SIG plans to engage a third-party testing organization later this year for compliance interoperability testing, and ahead of that the SSI SIG will offer a plugfest to allow system builders to pretest their designs.

In addition to access to the specifications, Adopter members are listed on the SSI Website, are able to view draft specifications, have access to testing and training tools at standard rates, can participate in training seminars and interoperability plugfests, are added to the Integrators List on the SSI Website after successful plugfest participation, and are given a free copyright license and IP rights to the final specifications.

Other tiers of membership include Contributors, who pay $20,000 to join, are listed as a contributor in the SSI Website, receive a discount on testing and test tools, have the right to participate in working groups with voting rights, are able to review and comment on draft specifications, and can attend and participate in Alpha compliance workshops.

Sponsor members pay $50,000 to join and get all the benefits Contributor members get plus are listed as a Sponsor on the SSI Website, are eligible to serve on the board of directors and to chair a work group, have the right to approve SSI draft specifications, and get the right of first refusal for all marketing and promotion activities.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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