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Recommendations on Blade Servers

Posted on 2007-12-06
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We are looking to upgrade our infrastructure and are looking at Dell and HP blade servers. Can anyone give me technical information about performance, usability, reliability, etc.... Also information as to why I would choose one manufacture over the other? Also we are looking to run VMWare ESX and want to add external storage for both backup and daily data usage.
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Question by:occs07
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predragpetrovic earned 500 total points
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Hi,

Well to be honest I have been using HP and IBM blades. I have never seen any Dell blades but I have heard that they are not that good. As far as IBM is in question they have the best support and maintenance. There are several issues, the backplane on the Blade Center are not compatible with new releases of blade servers (typical for HP and Dell) as far as IBM has the same backplane and will keep the same backplane for the next 5 years, which means that you can buy blade servers which are compatible with the Blade Center backplane.

As far as IBM and VMware are in game, VMware has discount when you are buying bundled hardware (IBM Blade Center, Disk Storage). My current setup is 6TB Storage with IBM DS4700 FC Disks with 2x Brocade 4Gb, 2x Nortel L2/L7 switches (load balancing, failover, VRRP, HSRP) and 6 blade servers (VMware ESX 3.0.2, 8GB RAM, 2x QuadCore CPU). On this hardware I am running around 100 production servers.

VMware has a great feature called Consolidated Backup which is a great backup utility. It requires additional physical machine which will run the VCB.

If you need more details please ask.

Predrag
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by:andyalder
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I'd go for HP BL480cs because they got 12 DIMM slots so you avoid having to buy the expensive 4GB DIMMs and 3 PCIe mezanine cards for the I/O as well as the dual onboard NICs. You ccould get away with BL460cs but I don't suppose you want more than 7 servers. 4 Cisco switches for the LAN and a couple of Brocades for the SAN fabric in the blade chassis and an EVA4100 for the SAN storage. That gives a couple of spare half height slots for backup server and infrastructure management server.

Why HP over Dell? Because Dell have only a tiny fraction of the blade market and all those other people who buy HP can't be wrong.
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by:andyalder
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predragpetrovic, I don't suppose HP will change the backplane of the C class chassis for 5 years, they're really fixed on that chassis, perhaps they'll put fibrechannel SAN storage in it one day as well as the current iSCSI blade storage server. I'll agree IBMs are good though although they had PSU problems to start with.
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