One of the server types being used by companies nowadays is the blade server. Unlike a stand-alone and a rack server, this compact type offers more power with less space and can be fitted in an enclosure along with other blades. And just like any other server types, it offers benefits as well as drawbacks.
List of Advantages of Blade Servers
One of the advantages of blade servers is that they are easy to manage in terms of failover capabilities and load balancing. Although these are also possible with other regular servers, a blade server is designed to accomplish this task. Since it has a slimmer infrastructure, work becomes easier and less complicated. Moreover, it is capable of self-diagnosis that in case hardware failure, it is easier to identify and solve the problem.
2. Easy Set-up
A blade server is the smallest type of server that it is easy to set-up. Unlike the standard rack and stand-alone servers, the blade server only contains the CPU, RAM, network adapters and integrated I/O ports. The other components such as the cooling equipment and storage and power converters are in the chassis. This built makes it easier to place the server in an ideal location. This also allows for minimalism and more organized server room. Cabling is also an advantage when it comes to using blade servers since less cabling requirements are needed as opposed to several stand-alone servers that need to be connected to a network.
3. Ease of Consolidation
Another benefit of blade servers is the only one is needed to house multiple servers. This is on top of other conveniences like storage, maintenance and cabling. Since these multiple servers are able to share components and power source, consolidation of other resources such as equipment and storage is possible.
List of Disadvantages of Blade Servers
1. Climate Control
Unlike stand-alone servers that can be placed throughout the building and do not have specific requirements when it comes to temperature control, blade servers have the tendency to heat up. This is because they are so powerful that that they can produce too much heat. If there is no proper heat and cooling system, blade servers can break down and get damaged.
Setting up blade servers, from purchase to configuration, is not inexpensive. This will depend on the model and brand of blade server a company intends to use and this also includes specifications in terms of configuration settings. Apart from this, there are also training costs for IT staff and the installation costs that come with the set-up. Initial costs are high and maintenance costs are also to be expected.
Just like any computer device and equipment, there will be other brands and models that will be available in the market in just a few months. Having said this, there is a high probability that the blade server will be out-of-date and will depreciate after a period of use. And if an upgrade is needed, apart from incurring additional costs, the hardware to be added might not be compatible with the existing unit.
Blade servers are suitable for some companies but might not be an option for others. This is why it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of using one to determine if this is the correct choice for a particular company
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.