In a significant move to bolster the existing computing infrastructure, Net Solutions recently purchased an IBM Blade Server S chassis running SAN storage and 3 blades. This is an upgrade from Tower-type servers which handled the computing environment here. As Net Solutions also offers server management services, the addition of blade servers will not only provide awesome processing power, they are ideal for virtualisation. There’s a lot more to the blade servers and the entailing advantages of employing them in the corporate ecosystem than being just advanced machines.
What is a blade server? Blade servers manage power, storage, connectivity and maintenance using an outer housing or chassis which accepts between 6-16 blades. This chassis is an assortment of specialized motherboard units (blades) with each unit functioning as a computer containing vital processing and storage elements. All blades do not have to be for computing; they could provide connectivity, storage, system management etc…
How does adoption of blade server technology help businesses? As companies look to improve their capability to handle (process and storage) data or replace aging infrastructures, many turn to blade server technology for better computing power, to save space by cable reduction, increase density and decrease power consumption, while lowering total cost of operation and improving infrastructure flexibility.
The blade server model promotes thin-client computing, where users can log on to their computer from remote terminals. If the workplace’s network is accessible over the Internet, perhaps through a VPN (Virtual Private Network), then the worker can access their PC from anywhere they have access to a client computer and the Web.
Blade servers score over other types of server technologies in checking redundancy, hot swapping [ability to add, remove and replace units without having to power-off the chassis], reduction in cable requirements and other aspects including power and size requirements. Although there is a substantial initial hardware investment compared to other server technologies, but in long term it brings economy of scale.
There may be some limited storage on a blade server. With the use of a SAN (Storage Area Network) the chassis and blades can be completely free of storage, removing the inherent heat, noise, and reliability problems from the system completely. Everything from booting to data storage can be done over the SAN, enabling the blade servers to be focussed entirely on processing.