What is Blade Servers?

A Blade Server is a minimal, utilitarian computer server that is designed in modular sections. The Blade Server is optimized to reduce the need for a larger footprint, by reducing power consumption and removing certain components, while still having enough functionality to meet enterprise requirements. Multiple Blade Servers are housed in blade enclosures that deliver networking, power, management, interconnectivity and cooling. Instead of taking up horizontal rack space in 1u or 2U increments, the Blade Server goes vertical, placing many vertical service units on blades inside a rack space.

IT Central Station users look for Blade Servers with the capabilities of a seamless added chassis and access to network power as well as switch cables to a common network fabric. IT teams prefer a server management system, which totally abstracts the blade itself without having to reconfigure the network; thus it can be moved as identities and workloads change.

There are a number of preferences and metrics used by IT and DevOps when evaluating Blade Servers including easy management GUI, the most efficient rack space, and energy usage. Professionals look for Blade Server systems that allow different hardware configurations, (e.g. CPU, RAM, HDD, SAN, NAS) etc. and do not require extensive cabling.

Key aspects of Blade Servers may be attributes such as whether the Blade offers required cores and flops. Numerous ports and required throughput availability are essential. IT Central Station experts want Blade Servers with virtualization, required drivers, focus on TCO, the latest updated OS requirements with the OS platform supported on the blades.

Blade Servers must have reliable, ongoing support from hardware vendors. Critical production apps may have their SLAs affected if there is a hardware problem. In committing to a “Vendor Roadmap,” consensus from IT managers is that long-term usage of the platform is vital because when investing in a chassis, the team is setting up the infrastructure for 10 years+. Hence a solid, long-term support partnership with the vendor.

Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco UCS B-Series vs. HPE Synergy and other solutions. Updated: July 2020.
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