Not even a miniature tsunami could stop the InfoWorld blade server shoot-out of 2010. But it sure seemed like a possibility when we were running for high ground at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning with nothing but the clothes on our backs and the sounds of warning klaxons reverberating throughout the entire island. Luckily, we wound up eating pancakes and getting bored watching CNN from lounge chairs rather than avoiding killer tidal waves.
In fact, it looked more likely that logistics would play the biggest role in whether or not this test happened at all. Multiday shipping delays and several near misses while wrangling racks of gear all contributed to the concern that maybe this test just wasn’t meant to happen. There's a certain feeling you get in your gut when you witness a half-ton rack of gear nearly topple over on a freight truck liftgate. It's closely related to the sensation you experience when you watch the same rack rocketing toward the back of the freight truck dragging the driver behind it.
Despite more near misses than I want to count and after a mountain of effort by many people, the 2010 InfoWorld blade shoot-out posts on InfoWorld.com today. It's the result of months of preparation and grueling weeks of heads-down work. How it all happened is a story unto itself.
It was something of a miracle that it transpired at all. Due to the economy, hardware availability, lab availability, and a host of other reasons, the date of this test kept getting pushed back. Part of the problem was the delayed release of Intel's Westmere CPU -- which turned out to be a good thing in the end. HP, IBM, and Dell all showed up with pre-release Westmere blades, so the hardware we tested was absolutely cutting-edge, representing the best blade hardware available today.