The benefits of the blade computing platform include:
Smaller Footprint Minimum Size Limit Restrictions Removed – Removal of the 1U minimum size limit requirement which the traditional rack mounted server platform is stuck with. This permits greater freedom and initiatives for blade system designers and increases the overall versatility and adaptable flexibility of the blade platform
Higher Unit Densities – Instead of the 42 unit maximum of the standard rack it is not unusual for blade systems to hold up to 100 or more individual blade units per blade enclosure. These higher densities translate into greatly reduced floor space being occupied by the data center which in turn reduces the amount of cooling required thereby producing great energy cost savings and a far more rounded greener, less carbon producing computing solution.
Specialization – Through blade unit specialization further additional significant size reductions are achieved and will no doubt continue to do so
Improved Energy Efficiency – The “Green IT” movement is becoming an ever increasing influence in technology today and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future. Not only does blade computing reduce an organization’s energy costs it also represents a much “greener” computing initiative.
Organization-Wide Consistency – Through organization-wide component consistency blade units can deliver a more uniform organizational computing environment throughout a geographically diverse enterprise.
Scalability – Enterprise scalability issues are greatly simplified with blade computing. If you require more processing power then simply install additional compute blade units into select blade enclosures throughout the enterprise or data center.
Redundancy – For the truly paranoid blade enclosures do allow for multiplicity of systems in highly customizable configurations and arrays.
Future-Proofing – The concept of using the blade enclosure to provide infrastructure services to multiple blade units allows much greater freedom in future proofing an organization’s information technology and infrastructure investments. Even when fully loaded upgrading can mean swapping out lower performing or lower capacity blade units for better performing higher capacity units.
Recyclability – Blade units swapped out of their enclosures can be reused in other enclosures or even in blade enclosures at different geographical locations. In this way upgrading is more hand-me-down oriented which does prolong the useful life-expectancy of IT resources considerably.
Flexibility – Today business requires its processing facilities and solutions to be built around genuine flexibility from both the hardware and the software perspectives. Here is one area where blades can excel by using general purpose blade units for general purpose processing tasks and specialized blade units to deliver specialized processing services where required.
For example: Web page retrieval and database searches do not require the advanced vector processing that many rendering applications demand. Through the blending of special purpose blade units with general purpose and storage blades all of these computing tasks can be performed within the same enclosure. Administrative flexibility allows the system administrator to selectively and electively assign resources between applications/customers.
Virtualization – Another technology that the blade enclosure does lend itself to with remarkable agility is the implementation of multiple virtual computing environments. The advent of multi-core processor technologies have played a large part in the expansion of the deployment of virtualization technologies hosted on blade server “farms”. Once again this is all about the rationalization of information technology resources usage.
Distributed Centralized Processing – Blades are particularly suited to a distributed central processing ethos. This makes them especially desirable for Web 2.0 applications, Software-as-a-Service (S-a-a-s) and cloud computing. Thus web hosting and cloud computing service providers can distribute their resources more evenly on a usage basis. It is most profitable to have your facility in as close a proximity to your market, customers or user-base as possible without paying for highly prominent real estate or the rents these sites ask. Ideally as close as possible to the physical location of the Internet backbone would be desirable.
Additional Information – Check out ServerWatch.com if you would like to find out more about various specialty servers and new developments in the server industry.