Blade servers are an important new technology that promise unheard-of levels of data center device density. Given the right management tools, it should be possible for the data center manager to move into a more strategic role. Rather than firefighting day-to-day tactical problems, the human input can become more creative than at present. Well-engineered, vendor-independent blade server management tools will allow the operator to focus on issues related to service fulfillment and assurance.
It's entirely likely that vendors will want to lock users into their specific products. This is pretty much the model that exists in the telecom world, but is masked by the fact that single-vendor telecom networks are common. The same is not true for the data center market, where heterogeneity is more the norm. For this reason, it's important that vendors move their blade technologies in the direction of standardization and interoperability.