Gone are the days of bulky rack mounted servers were. With the advancement of technology, blade servers are fast becoming the order of the day. With their current popularity, many briefs, and tech docs have been written on blade servers over the past few years.
Blade servers are self contained computer server designed specially for high density jobs. Unlike a typical rack mounted computer a blade server does not require power chord or network cable. But it can still carry out the various functionality of a standard rack mounted server with ease.
The blade system comprises of the blade enclosure which has the capability to hold multiple blade servers. The blade enclosure also carries out important functions like power cooling, networking, interconnects as well as management.
Power supply is one of the functionality provided by blade enclosures. It is the single power source for all blades within the enclosure. Certain amount of heat is produced during the course of any operation. The blade enclosure removes the heat6 formed by fans thus cooling the server.
Networking is another important function of blade enclosure. It provides with one or more network buses to which the blades will connect. It either present the ports presenting them in individual location or assembling them in fewer ports thus reducing the cost of connecting individually.
The blade servers are lower-end servers, fitted into a single chassis. The number of blades that the chassis can hold varies from 8 to 24.One of the most salient features the blade server is that each blades an independent system with its own memory, processor and network connection.
The prime factors that have led to the vast popularity of the blade servers are its cost effectiveness and much less consumption of heat, electricity.Another feature of the blade server which has acted as catalyst behind its popularity is its size.
More than 250 blade servers can be easily accommodated in a single rack. On the other hand approximately 42 servers can be accommodated to a standard rack when it comes to the other lower end servers available in the market. Besides being used as a web server a blade server can provide other functionality too. It can perform as SSL servers for encrypted communications, or as streaming servers for audio and video transmissions.
Moreover blade servers are also being used as Firewall devices in corporate data centers. Blade servers have also proved to be useful in specific purpose like- cluster computing. They have also ached out a prominent position in the fields of web hosting.
In the backdrop of soaring energy costs, the economy that it provides in terms of heat consumption are turning out to be extremely handy for the data centers. The fact that it occupies minimal space has also contributed hugely in this field.
A blade server is easy to install.Also, the presence of dedicated software result in better administration, performance and accountability among users. However the blade servers have its own limitations. Ian case of a large scale problem it may not prove to be very useful.In these cases server farms are safer options.