DELL EMC PowerEdge Blade Servers
Blade servers are ultra-compact servers that operate in a specialized chassis. The chassis are equipped with everything you need for a blade server: power supply units, network boards, switches, cooling, interfaces, etc.
Advantages of DELL Blade Servers
DELL EMC PowerEdge blade servers have the following advantages:
- Economy of space in data centers and server rooms,
- Maximum consolidation: you can allocate more active server equipment, cores and memory in 1U,
- Reduced maintenance costs: up to 35% in large infrastructures,
- Easy maintenance: cleaning, upgrading, switching, transportation and deployment.
Generations of DELL Blade Servers
G15 blade servers (current gen) DELL EMC PowerEdge C6525 are one of the most compact and advanced servers in the industry. If you want another model, you should consider past gen: DELL G13 and DELL G14. They are inexpensive, yet efficient and reliable enough for small, medium and even enterprise businesses.
Form factors and lines of DELL blade servers
Blade servers consist of two dependant components:
- Blade chassis: a housing with slots for servers,
- Blades: modular servers that operate as PCs.
Models of DELL Blade Chassis
The current models are VRTX (5U) and M1000e (10U):
- DELL M1000e is a large 10U chassis that fits 1–8 full-sized and 1–16 half-sized blades, and up to 6 power supply units. The chassis doesn't have an integrated bin for drives, so a disk subsystem is implemented either at a blade level or on a separate storage server, or in combination of both. DELL M1000e chassis are installed in a rack, just like any classic server.
- DELL VRTX is a relatively compact 5U chassis for 1–2 full-sized and 1–4 half-sized blade servers. They also fit up to 4 power supply units and are equipped with a storage server for 12 LFF and 25 SFF drives. So, a housing a bit larger than a regular ATX PC gives you several servers, up to 8 CPUs and a storage server. VRTX chassis can be installed vertically as a Tower or on a railing as a Rack.
Models of DELL Blade Servers
All DELL servers with “M” (Modular) marking are blades for chassis. Example is DELL PowerEdge M640. They are available both as half-sized and full-sized models. One chassis slot can fit 2 half-sized or 1 full-sized blade. Besides, you can combine those in one chassis. For example, you can install 2 half-sized blades and 1 full-sized blade in a VRTX.
What DELL blade servers to choose
Recommendations for blade servers are almost the same as for classic servers. However! Blades for M1000e and VRTX are almost identical, but not comparable. Consult your vendor or see documentation. Keep in mind that blade servers operate independently, not as a single complex.
Firstly, your blade server should have at least 30% performance reserve. This way the system can withstand peak and/or unforeseen loads and be extended when your company and its loads are constantly increasing.
Secondly, due to a small size a blade can't fit many drives. See DELL (server name) Spec Sheet files. If your applications require a lot of disks, you should select VRTX chassis and plan for a separate storage system.
Thirdly, if you need one or two servers, you should consider classic Rack or Tower system. Otherwise you'll pay for unused slots, and the system won't fulfill its potential.