Blade servers can be a cost-effective alternative to rack-based IT gear, according to HP's John Gromala, and offer a growth path from towers.
(click image for larger view)
Server Technology Hits A Crossroads
Infrastructure costs for a rack solution, according to Gromala, start with the physical racks, and networking switches. "Plus you have to allocate a room, and typically need specialized power brought in, possibly including a PDU (Power Distribution Unit), and specialized cooling."
Also, according to Gromala, blade environments are less complicated. For a system with 16 servers to support a typical virtualized environment, the networking for a rack solution would require around 215 adapters, switches and cables and other components, while a blade solution from HP could be done with a pair of HP Virtual Connect Flex modules.
For example, a c3000 chassis with 1GB networking and a single server costs a few thousand to deploy, according to Gromala. In general, Gromala said, factoring in all the pieces required to deploy a rack, including some of the power savings, HP blade-and-chasses solutions cost roughly 40% less than a rack solution.
Another advantage that blade solutions can offer over rack solutions -- depending on the computing workload and the company's office environment -- is not requiring special facilities. A c3000 enclosure can run with regular office power and air conditioning -- however, Gromala noted, under heavier workloads, the system might be too noisy.
Overall, according to HP, blade enclosures reduce the cost to run and maintain an IT hardware infrastructure; let upgrades and additions be done much more quickly and easily -- which makes it easier for IT to provision for new requirements or opportunities; and use less power and cooling, which controls cost and also reduces the likelihood of needing more power than a site has available.
According to the IDC report, "HP maintained the number 1 spot in the server blade market in 2Q10, with 55.8% revenue share, and IBM finished with 24.2% revenue share."
For a small-to-midsize business, where IT money, time and space are always at a premium, but where the ability to increase IT server and storage capabilities quickly and easily is valuable, that makes blades, and blade enclosures, well worth looking into.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.