This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download "Storage magazine: Exploring the solid-state storage advantage."
Download it now to read this article plus other related content.
Martin MacLeod, a London-based consultant who authors a blog on blades in his spare time, says users are being inundated with an impressive range of options from vendors trying to take advantage of the consolidation and virtualization craze. He has dedicated a spot in his blog for "peripheral blade vendors" as technologies converge. In his practice, he often fields questions about purchasing and chargeback, he says. "The first blade encounters all of the cost: the new enclosure, the power supplies and the switches," he says. "So if HR requires another blade, do we need to buy another enclosure? Is that an HR cost or an IT cost?" (See "Buying tips," below.)
Scott Lowe specializes in virtualization for ePlus Technology Inc., a reseller headquartered in Herndon, VA. For many of his customers, says Lowe, blade servers have no real impact on storage unless they're being coupled with virtualization. Because they're so popular, and so much of the sales pitches around blades highlight the simplicity of buying and using them, Lowe sees some users underestimate their impact.
"I've seen a lot of customers not think about it," he says. "You need to realize that a blade is a bona fide, fully fledged, fully independent piece of hardware. You need to incorporate that into your design just like you would any other switch or server."
This was first published in July 2008