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Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008

Server blades and storage

Blades offer many advantages over traditional servers, but they create some unique storage and application issues. PETER CHAU is the infrastructure architect at North Shore Credit Union (NSCU), a North Vancouver, British Columbia, organization with 44,000 members, 12 branches and a new software banking system that runs on a bunch of Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. blades. From Chau's vantage point, his blade infrastructure is finally ready for prime time, approximately two years after NSCU got into the blade market with HP's first iteration of blades, the p-Class. That changed Chau's infrastructure to a smaller footprint with decreased power costs, but it didn't change his life. That came later, with HP's c-Class and its Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager, says Chau. By creating bay-specific I/O profiles with unique MAC addresses, Virtual Connect allows network and storage administrators to establish all LAN and SAN connections during deployment, and lets them avoid having to do it again even if additional servers are deployed or ...

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Features in this issue

  • Solid State: New frontier for storage

    Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.

  • DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices

  • Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel

    New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • Server blades and storage

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.

Columns in this issue