Blade Server

Server architecture is continually evolving to meet the needs of industry. Blade servers were developed to offer an alternative to traditional rack servers to provide high density computing in constrained physical spaces with reduced energy consumption. A blade server can contain at least twice the number of processors as in a rack-optimized 1U server design. Blade servers are deployed in blade enclosures that can be added to a 42U rack with traditional rack servers. Blade server enclosures come in form factors to fit in a 42U rack such as in 3U, 6U, and 7U footprints. An enclosure provides common resources for the blade servers that it houses. These include power supply, thermal cooling, ethernet and fiber channel switches, and system ports.

Advantages of a Blade Server

Blade servers offer many advantages over traditional rack solutions. The main advantages include central management, reduced physical resource requirements, and ease of upgrading.

Because all blade servers are installed in blade enclosures, they benefit from any management hardware designed into the enclosure. Management hardware may also be designed into a blade server itself. Management hardware consists of systems management processors that can monitor and manage each installed blade server, power supply, cooling system, network switches, and other enclosure components. Together with management software, all components can be centrally monitored and managed from a single interface remotely.

The architecture of blade servers enables reduced floor and rack space requirements due to the increased computing density from each blade server. As all blade servers in an enclosure use a consolidated power supply and a single cooling system, power consumption is also reduced over traditional rack servers which have individual power supplies and cooling systems for each server.

Additionally, built-in interconnects in the enclosure reduce the number of physical cables for KVM, ethernet, and fiber channel switches allowing for less confusing cable management and space savings in a rack’s sidewall.

Blade servers can be easily upgraded or repaired due to the design of blade server systems. The design allows a server blade to be easily slid in and out of an enclosure bay. Inserting a new server blade is much quicker than mounting a 1U rack server and also instantly connects the blade to the common services provided by the enclosure.

Comprehensive Blade Server Products from Thinkmate

Thinkmate offers award-winning SuperBlade® systems from Supermicro. SuperBlade® systems are designed and configured to fit many applications.

Supermicro OfficeBlade® is designed for SME-sized businesses and personal HPC applications. Each OfficeBlade® 7U enclosure can be configured with up to 10 server blades running 20 processors. This configuration generates very low noise for office environments (less than 50dB). Flexible power supply options and high performance storage can be configured with each OfficeBlade® to make it an effective enterprise server.

Supermicro DataCenterBlade® is built for the demands of data centers. It can be configured with 14 server blades in a 7U enclosure and can be scaled up to 2016 processing cores in a 42U rack. It offers industry-leading performance per watt which is a key requirement in any data center solution.

Supermicro TwinBlade® is the most technologically advanced blade server system available in the industry. When scaled up to fill a 42U rack, TwinBlade® can support up to 120 server nodes with 240 Intel Xeon processors (2880 cores). Each 7U enclosure can support up to 40 CPUs yielding a maximum of 480 cores. TwinBlade® is perfect for HPC supercomputing, cloud computing, financial modeling, and scientific and engineering computing applications.

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