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Blade server reviews - a cure to data center server space problems
What are blade servers and why are they used?Sponsored Links
Blade servers in data centers sound extremely futuristic but blade servers are essentially a set of compact motherboards with a common power supply and common cooling.
That definition of blade servers sounds simple, but blade servers in data centers have some more features allowing:
- Easy addition of blade server 'blades' or motherboards.
- Easy removal of blade server 'blades' or motherboards
Essentially, blade servers are not new technology, blade servers simply reinvent the same technology used by mainframes ages ago !
Blade servers in more detail
Blade servers are essentially glorified server farms that have the following features
- All the 'blades' in a blade server farm share a common power supply
- The blade server farm has a common air cooling system.
- 'Blades' in a blade server farm can be removed and substituted as needed.
- Blade servers offer 'plug and play' servers for server farms just like 'plug and play' devices for Windows desktops
- Blade servers solve the 'chaos' situation in data centers where one single wire or plug in the data center could get enmeshed into millions of other wires.
Blade servers advantages
Blade servers have the following advantages
- Blade server data centers enable easy data center management since they reduce the space constraints in data centers. Right now, a lot of data centers operate in a chaotic environment with every inch of space taken up by rack mounted servers, at times, servers are also mounted on the floor, necessitating blade servers.
- Blade servers have a common power supply and that saves on power management costs
- Blade servers have a common air cooling system and that saves of coolants for each individual server and makes server cooling easier to manage
- Blade servers save rack space, by having a lot of compact blades on the same blade server, enabling cheaper and better web hosting
- Theoretically, blade servers offer cross vendor compatibility in a blade server server farm.
Blade server disadvantages for data centers
- Blade servers have a single power supply and this creates a common failure point
- Blade servers have a single cooling system and this could create the same problem as in mainframes, the single cooling system in blade servers becomes mission critical. Blade server vendors could ensure that the blade servers are compatible only with specific cooling systems (of their own manufacture!)
- IBM blade servers, Dell blade servers, HP blade servers, Compaq blade servers and blade servers from other vendors do not exactly support compatibility of blades. As a result, the original promise of having 'cross vendor' blades in a blade server environment has not been achieved yet.
- The key component of blade server compatibility is the integration of the SAN switch vendor's products with that of the blade server vendor.
Good blade server news for data centers
HP blade servers are being integrated with Brocade's SAN server offerings, creating more compatibility in the blade server environment.
Bad blade server news for data center
Rumors persist that Sun is exiting the blade server solution market