Where space is premium, the blade server is king. Many vendors and tech companies have pushed the blade server in the past few years, particularly IBM and Intel. Recent advances in CPU technologies have made the power requirements and heat issues with dense servers a much easier problem to deal with in blades, making them even more attractive.
One issue that some manufacturers face is a lack of standardization, and Intel is looking to change that. Or, at least, they are looking to join up with those who already were trying. They have recently joined a growing movement among large companies to create a simplified blade server design, one that would standardize on a host of hardware specifications. Standardization benefits these companies in that it lowers the cost of development, and it benefits the consumer because it promotes interoperability:
The Modular Server Specifications simplify and lower the cost of product development by providing design guidance that enables server builders to develop compliant and interoperable building blocks at the blade, chassis and manageability software level.
It's still up to each individual vendor to make their products compatible or not, but some of the specifications sound worthwhile. Particularly in hardware specification, assuming it is left generic enough to give a customer plenty of choice, it can make migrating to a blade environment much easier. Companies like Acer, Asus, Gigabyte, Lenovo, Microsoft and Quanta, along with a host of others, are with Intel in this endeavor.
Not surprisingly, AMD and IBM are absent from the list.