The Cisco UCS Series is a modular, high-density, high-availability, dual-node storage- optimized server suited for service providers, enterprises, and industry-specific environments. It provides dense, cost-effective storage to address your ever-growing data needs. Designed for a…
HPE BladeSystem is a brand of blade server, from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. HPE blades include the ProLiant BL series and the ProLiant WS series.
Lenovo now offers and supports the former BladeCenter blade servers and products, since acquiring the product line from IBM. The product line is now offered as the Lenovo Flex System series of blade servers.
HPE Integrity NonStop is a line of blade servers, from Hewlett-Packard Enteprise.
SuperBlade, from San Jose based Supermicro, is a line of blade servers.
NEC's Sigmablade-H is a blade server option.
Supermicro offers the MicroBlade series of density optimized servers designed to fit a blade enclosure.
NEC's Sigmablade-M is a blade server option.
HPE Superdome Flex (formerly branded Integrity Superdome X) is a high-end high-performance blade server option, from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. They are modular compute platforms that power critical applications, accelerate analytics, and tackle HPC and AI workloads holistically.…
HPE SGI 8600 is based on the SGI ICE is a blade server. Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired SGI and its properties in 2016.
Oracle's Sun Blade 6000 is a blade server option.
NEC Express5800 server blades are designed to deliver high performance, reliability and availability required for server virtualization and server consolidation solutions and address medium to large enterprises business environments.
HPE Integrity is a line of blade servers, from Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.
Fujitsu's Primergy BX series is a line of blade servers.
Dell's M-Series PowerEdge, presently including the M640 and M830 editions, are HPC modular blade servers boast enterprise performance with scalability via features meant to accommodate current needs and future growth needs, such as multiple available form factors, modular I/O switches,…
Hitachi Vantara offers Hitachi Compute Blade (BladeSymphony) is a line of blade servers.
Oracle Netra Modular System is touted as a converged, plug-and-play blade system supporting rapid scale and high interoperability.
Bull Blade Servers are a product line of blade servers now from Atos, since the Bull acquisition in May, 2014.
What are Blade Servers?
Blade servers are compact servers designed to take up less space than traditional rack servers by slotting multiple servers in a single chassis. Each blade server is a thin computer in its own right, with a CPU, memory, and motherboard. The chassis typically features proprietary connectors that only work with associated blade servers, but it is possible (if difficult) to operate the blade server on its own without a chassis. Blade server systems can host databases, applications, hypervisors, web services, software, operating systems, virtual machines, and more.
Blade servers have a variety of advantages outside of taking up less space. Individual blade servers in a chassis can be changed freely without taking the rest of the servers offline, which can significantly reduce downtime needed for server maintenance. Since multiple blade servers can be clustered together with cooling and electricity managed by the chassis, they’re more power-efficient than a proportional number of rack servers. The chassis itself is the only component that requires connector cables, meaning that blade servers also improve cable management.
Blade Servers Features
The most common blade server features include:
- Cross-server compatibility
- Low integrated circuitry
- Centralized monitoring and maintenance
- Onboard CPU, memory, and network controllers
- Hot-swapping support
- Server monitoring software
- Data transference support
- SAS and SATA connection support
- Lifecycle management support
- Automated firmware upgrades, OS deployment, and load-balancing
- Customizable failover protocols
Blade Servers Comparison
When choosing the best blade servers for you, consider the following:
Deployment: On average, blade servers are cheaper to maintain and use than traditional rack servers. However, incorporating blade servers into your workflow can include steep upfront costs. These costs include each individual server, each chassis, server installation, data and asset transference, and other costs associated with installation and any accompanying downtime.
Thermal and electrical loads: Although blade servers are more thermally and electrically efficient, you’ll still need to consider how you will deal with cooling and power management. As you add more blade servers and chassis systems, you’ll need more sophisticated cooling and power management, which has its own associated costs. These costs may eventually cut into the estimated savings that blade servers offer. Only run as many blade servers as you need, even if you have extra space available.
Additional storage: Because they are designed to save space by incorporating components directly onto the server, Blade servers tend to forgo higher native storage compared to rack and tower servers. Blade servers can be purchased with varying amounts of onboard storage, and while some can connect to external storage devices, this may vary based on the particular blade server or chassis. Depending on your current or future needs, you may want to consider additional storage solutions to address this shortcoming. Vendors of blade servers can help you choose the best servers or external devices to meet your storage needs.
Individual blade servers, not including the chassis needed to operate them, range between $2,000 to $10,000 per server at the lowest model pricing. Variations in price include CPU cores, processors, onboard memory, and form factors. Many vendors offer discounts for multiple servers and refurbished products.