Traditional HPC Rack-Mounted Servers vs. Blade Systems

May 14th, 2009 1:35 pm
Posted by Maria McLaughlin
Tags: , , , ,

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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Author Info


Maria McLaughlin joined Appro in 2002 and has responsibility for all Appro's marketing, which includes branding, product positioning, market analysis, perception improvement, marketing communications and demand creation. She is also responsible for coordinating the product-definition and Go-to-Market Plan activities across Appro. Prior to her role at Appro, Mrs. McLaughlin worked at Hewlett-Packard for 13 years, where she held several marketing roles. She has also international business experience gained working at 3M Corporation in Campinas, SP, Brazil.

Mrs. McLaughlin graduated from Pontificia Catolica University in Brazil with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and English. She has also attended Berkeley Extension University in San Francisco.