May 14th, 2009 1:35 pm
Posted by Maria McLaughlin
Tags: Appro, Appro GreenBlade, blade systems, high performance computing, rack mounted servers
Traditional rack-mounted servers require additional infrastructure and a host of hidden costs to IT ownership that can significantly inflate the total cost of operation. Rack-mounted servers make a relatively dense infrastructure by fitting up to 40 1U servers in a standard rack cabinet, but still require many repetitive parts, including adapters, cables, network switches, power strips, management devices, and/or KVM solutions. To increase availability, you often have to double those components for redundancy. In addition, there is the installation time and integration cost associated.
In comparison, blades can have the same features as standard servers and run the same applications. The important difference is that blades share a common backplane “building block solution”. This integrated backplane of a blade system reduces the number of interconnecting cables and devices. In recent years, the HPC market has witnessed a dramatic shift towards blade technology, with midsize HPC datacenters increasingly adopting them for mainstream deployments. Blades are proving to be the form factor of choice for many mid- to large-scale server deployments by bringing advantages in price-performance, power and cooling, reduced datacenter floor space, management, and control over rack-mounted servers. Because of the greater server density achievable through blades, they were initially focused on solutions such as server centralization and consolidation. Today, HPC IT administrators are recognizing the operational management and cost benefits of blades, and are deploying them to drive down both capital and operational expenses.
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