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What is the benefit of blade servers ?

Posted on 2004-10-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
What is the benefit of blade servers ?  

I think I know but an not sure and do not want to be embarised in an interview.   I can find white papers out there with reams of information but nobody wants to put in in a sound byte.  

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Question by:TIMFOX123
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wr3kt earned 1200 total points
ID: 12455770
Dunno if this will help, but looks like a collection of articles over them.
http://www.itpapers.com/search.aspx?kw=blade%20server
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by:wr3kt
ID: 12455778
Basically it looks like they are completely modular and each rack can support itself or work with other untis simultaneoulsy. They are hot-swappable and contain all their own components so you don't have to rely on building larger systems to support other subsystems.
I'm thinking they are, again, focused more on modularity and ease of installation.
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by:TIMFOX123
ID: 12455875
You can not swap out a 12 processor database server for a  2 x 6 blade rack ?    They are pretty much just a "PC per card" with a pretty fast communicatation between bades but not fast enought to do SMP between blades ?  
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by:Lieven Embrechts
ID: 12456498
With miniaturisation and virtualisation these days i cannot see many benefits for blade servers any more;
they are quite static.
- with 1 unit servers, it's also possible to stack lots of servers in a small space
- with a virtualisation layer(vmware), you can go much further then with blades or multiple servers. Have a look at the vmware specs & demos and a new world of dynamic possibilities opens.

I think blade servers are passé and only for hardware focussed people.  If you really need multiple servers and you really don't have the space, blades can be a solution.
The biggest problem with blades is the cooling: server components require a lot of cooling these days, you can imagine what happens when you put lots of them in 1 housing. The cheaper blade vendors only have 1 central cooling for all blades so forget about adding larger or extra processors afterwards; cooling will become a problem.

Just my 2 cents.
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Author Comment

by:TIMFOX123
ID: 12470031
Lieven:

I read what you wrote after I returned to the site and did not scroll down.  What you said makes alot of cents and I would have liked to give you some points for it.  The white paper pretty much covered what I needed but you also brought more to the table.
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