Enterprises are actively consolidating their data center computing resources. Blade servers offer high density computing environments in a small physical footprint and can now offer costs equivalent to, or lower than, rack-mount solutions. The blade server products for the x86 market are reaching the commodity level in both features offered and pricing.
This research note provides an evaluation of four primary blade server vendors and their products. This note discusses:
- Factors contributing to the implementation of blade servers.
- Discussion and graphic comparisons of the four leading blade server vendors with relative product and vendor rankings.
- A summary of the strengths and weaknesses of each product.
- Recommendations for product selection based on the enterprise's situation.
Blade servers are widely used for server consolidation, high availability operations, mission critical applications and high performance computing. While most small enterprises initially focus on the server consolidation and high availability missions, some will require more than one of these options. The vendors evaluated provide products that span all of these areas, allowing for scalability as the enterprise requirements expand.