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Blade Servers Versus Normal Servers

What are the main benefits of blade servers over conventional ones?

There is a lot of marketing spin on blade servers and I am not sure factually why it is better.

I am assuming normal servers to be rack mounted boxes.

Ram Dass
Monday, January 26, 2004

Space saving and energy saving, that's about it.

Cohosts charge by the cube feet.

On the other hand you can try to make ATX or MicroATX hang off of a cluter rack, it's really up to you. You
have to really ask yourself--what kind of server room you
need?

Are you placing 40 servers at a cohost? Are you doing video post processing for a major media company on 500 PCs? Are you downtown or built your own center?

Li-fan Chen
Monday, January 26, 2004

One major benefit is having only one or two ethernet cables for 8 systems.  If you've ever racked 16 or so dual homed boxes you'd understand what I mean.

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Monday, January 26, 2004

One HUGE disadvantage of a blade server -- is that if you take the full benefit it provides, there is absolutely no air conditioning unit worldwide that is capable of keeping the full room full of racks jammed with blade servers... *deep breath*  ... cool.

-T.J.

T.J.
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Also,  they are unbeliveably noisy.  forget about doing any work in an adjoining room.

Koz
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Also,  they are unbeliveably noisy.  forget about doing any work in an adjoining room."

Our Dell 1U sounds like a jet engine. I think the "quiet" train has already left the station when it comes to servers.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

RLX anyone?

i like i
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Our Dell 1U sounds like a jet engine. I think the "quiet" train has already left the station when it comes to servers."

Sadly I don't think it can be any other way when you are sailing along at 3ghz.  This is actually an advantage of some of the RISC chips in that they are slower, cooler and less power consumptive.  Intel is lowcost hardware and high cost power and cooling and the other architechtures seem to be higher cost hardware and lower cost power and cooling.  It would be fun to extrapolate out numbers sometime to see what the breakeven or crossover point between the two architechtures.  My guess is it would suprise a lot of people.  99% of small and medium size businesses just look at it like hey, this Dell is cheap, lets get that.  Of course a lot of those places don't have the skills or resources present to support anything but Windows.  (I don't mean that as a knock against Windows or the people that maintain it.)

There was an article awhile back how Google as well as others running large clusters or datacenters of Intel pc's would love to find a lower power cooler running processor ala transmeta or some such becasue of power consumption and cooling concerns. 

I would think, and maybe it is starting to happen, that in the northern climate where I live, they would start designing datacenters to act as heating plants in the cold months for the building they are in.

Mike
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

There was an interview with Google's CTO on dr dobbs where he said
"one of hosting facilites we looked at bragged that they had 500Kw of power and 20Kw of air conditioing available - where did that guy get his E.Eng degree ?"

We just had a paritioned off room and AC put in for 32 2Ghz servers, the building and AC cost twice as much as the PCs.

Martin Beckett
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

> where did that guy get his E.Eng degree?

I think heat exchangers are magic, in that for example given a hot room and a cold room you can put 1 Watt of power into driving the heat exchanger and get 10 Watts of heat power out of the hot room.

Christopher Wells
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

And four pints of water...

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

isn't that how they heated some military installations 40 years ago? (waste computing heat)

mb
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Our Dell 1U sounds like a jet engine. I think the "quiet" train has already left the station when it comes to servers."

Sadly I don't think it can be any other way when you are sailing along at 3ghz.
-----------------------------
You can have a fairly quiet 3ghz x86 desktop PC, but not a quiet 3ghz x86 1U unit.

The difference is in fan size.  1U units have lots of small, high-RPM, whirry-sounding sounds that make that ear-splitting whine.  Whereas on a desktop PC, you can have a comparatively smaller number of larger fans at a lower RPM which are much easier on the ears.

Small, high-RPM fans make a "WHZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" sound; larger and slower fans make more of a "WHOOOOOOOSH" that's much easier on the ears, even at the same dB level.

John Rose
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"isn't that how they heated some military installations 40 years ago? (waste computing heat) "

the minnesota supercomputing center used to be heated with waste computing heat (it may still be). and minnesota is COLD.

Terry Lewis
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

This makes me think: why can't we plug an external AC duct in each 1U blade and leave the fans outside the building?

coresi
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Our Dell 1U sounds like a jet engine. I think the "quiet" train has already left the station when it comes to servers.
"

No kidding. I recently put a Dell 1U in my office for some testing work and this sucker is *noisy*.  I get used to it after a while, but after I turn it off and the room grows totally silent, I realize just how noisy this sucker is.

Mark Hoffman
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

So only gamers are using liquid cooling?

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

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