Maybe David Blaine has the right idea. Thinking inside the box could be the next big thing to hit the IT industry as more and more vendors look to roll out technology such as appliances and blade servers to consolidate infrastructure and lower the cost of IT.
Like Blaine, blades are very thin and, again like Blaine, getting thinner all the time, while appliance technology is looking to cram all sorts of applications such as anti-virus software and firewalls into a single, easy-to-manage box.
Of course, out-of-the-box thinking for resellers will come in the form of services, maintenance and support, but the technology in the box cannot be overlooked as a USP.
Doing everything that a regular server can do, blade servers can offer end-users a compelling way to save not just money but space, as hundreds of rack-mounted blades can fit into an area once occupied by a handful of conventional servers.
In the SME sector, smaller companies can soon enjoy enterprise-level computing without having to invest in costly data centres.
Smaller and cooler, blade servers also eliminate the need for large air-conditioning units and create fewer hot spots.
The encouraging news is that the technology is being targeted as a channel sell. Back in June CRN reported that blade pioneer RLX was looking to set up a UK channel operation in the hope of stalling the usual suspects, such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
At the same time, anti-virus resellers are moving up the value chain by selling appliances that open doors to potential new business such as gateways and firewalls, as well as a potentially lucrative service business.
So don't do a Blaine and starve yourself on the paltry margins of traditional hardware. Look to the new technologies that can save end-users money and space. And where is this technology? It's inside the box.
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