A blade server system consists of a blade enclosure that houses infrastructure components such as power supplies, a cooling system, management and interconnect hardware, and bays for inserting blades. Each blade can itself be a computer server, a management server, an interconnect switch, or a storage server.
A server blade is a module in a blade server system that contains processors, solid state memory, networking chips, and, if so designed, hard disks. Its function is to perform computational processing.
A server blade slides into a bay in the enclosure of a blade system and is serviced by the enclosure’s power supplies, cooling system, network switches, and other infrastructure components built into the enclosure.
Each server blade module typically contains a primary circuit board. The number of processors and co-processors in the module is determined by the design of the board. In a single enclosure, server blades with different types of processors can be installed and run simultaneously.
Server blades provide high density computing for many types of applications including HPC, cloud computing, financial modeling, and scientific and engineering computing. Blade systems provide many advantages over traditional rack solutions. Each server blade in an enclosure uses a common power supply and cooling system resulting in reduced power consumption. Centralized management of servers is enabled by management hardware in each enclosure allowing all servers to be managed through a single interface. Physical space requirements for blade systems are lower than traditional rack systems as blade servers have much denser computing power in a given amount of space.
Thinkmate configures, sells, and supports SuperBlade® server blades and enclosures from Supermicro. Three main ranges of SuperBlade® systems are available from Thinkmate: