When discussing data centers, the term blade server often comes up as well. For the non-geeks, this post will define ‘blade server’ simply and explain why blade servers can be a valuable component of a data center.

A traditional data center uses a rack-based storage system with multiple servers. The rack-based system and servers will often be accompanied by a lot of cabling, consuming a lot of power, and consequently require a lot of cooling. A blade system consists of a single chassis with slots for multiple blade servers, which are thin versions of a traditional server, usually positioned vertically rather than horizontally. Blades can offer more processing power in the same rack space, simplify cabling and power consumption. A blade system can offer up to 85% reduction in cabling as compared to a the same number of conventional 1U (one rack unit) servers.

Here are some statistics that demonstrate the main reasons that organizations move to a blade-based system.

  • Physical Space Savings: 31%
  • Reduced TCO (Total Cost of Ownership): 20%
  • Dynamic Resource Allocation: 12%
  • Improved Reliability: 11%
  • Reduced Management Costs: 9%
  • Power Consumption Savings: 5%

While there are a number of pros to convince you to move to a blade system, there are cons as well. Blade servers can tie you down to the blade vendor and restrict the architecture to the design of the underlying hardware. Blade systems can cost more than equivalent traditional servers. However, if you have an aging system of cables, fans and the good old rack-based servers, the time has come to consider blades for your data center and whether blades might provide real value. For further inputs and expert advice, consult the data center experts at Lifeline Data Centers.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.