Blades vs. rack servers for virtualization platform

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Tags:
Blade Server Installation
Blade servers
Rack Servers
Virtualization
Virtualization Hardware
Virtualization platforms
Do you use blades or rack servers as a virtualization platform, or do you not have a standard platform? What justified your decision?

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We are sticking to rack servers at the moment. We don’t have the server sprawl or the processing requirements to fully utilize a full blade chassis, so blades aren’t cost effective for our current environment.

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We also we rack servers (Dell 905Rs to be specific). This gives us a couple of big servers that house all our VMs. We went with 2 large servers instead of a bunch of smaller servers (or blades) as we needed a lot of NICs for all our vLANs and to save on HBA and vSphere licenses costs.

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While deciding blades vs. rack for virtualization project also consider the following:
- supporting infrastructure (KVMs/Switches/UPS/NAS or SAN)
- available resources (number of RAM/HDD/CPU sockets) and desired utilization level
- available floor space, air conditioning and power density
- maintenance and availability

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  • Brunosworld
    We are also using rack servers (R900's) to run our HyperV production and Development platforms. If I had limited space, I might go with the blades because of density, but it really depends on the environment and what you are setting up for. If you need dedicated horsepower for VM's, Blades might make sense, but if you don't, rack servers might be a better and cheaper solution as you can pack more VM's because typically you can get more memory, more processing power into a rack server. I always try to use the R900's because of scalability, four memory banks with 8 slots a piece and the ability to have up to four quad cores in the system as well.
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  • graybeard52
    We are using IBM BladeCenter S running VM on all blades with intergrated SAN. Cost of new bladecenter will be less than one year of maintenance on the servers it is replacing. Speed of blade-to-SAN is far better than servers to SAn thatwe tested before.
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