Blade server guide

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Blade server guide

  1. 1. BLADE SERVERS eGuide The use of blade servers in enterprise data centers continues to climb. Market analysts peg the growth of x86 blade servers at twice that of the overall server category. Blades have become an essential component of data-center trends such as network convergence, server virtualization and cloud computing over the past few years. The high density, scalability, easy configuration, and lower energy costs offered by blades help to drive business innovation and eliminate server sprawl. What’s more, enterprises that deploy blades are enjoying significant savings—often more than 50 percent—when compared to traditional servers. In this eGuide, Network World sister publications InfoWorld, and PC World examine some of the current uses of blade servers in today’s data center, as well as how trends such as server virtualization are reshaping enterprise computing. IN THIS eGUIDE 2 Blade Servers: Big Power 4 Top 10 Benefits of 7 Seven Reasons to 9 Blade Server Resources for Small Businesses Server Virtualization Consider Virtualization Additional tools, tips and documentation Many small businesses with larger server Virtualize your data center and gain these Virtualization has made inroads into many needs are turning to blade servers to pack efficiencies and capabilities that aren’t data centers. If your company isn’t already big power into a small space possible within a physical-only world using it, here’s why it should Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processorsIntel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  2. 2. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors BLADE SERVERS: BIG POWER FOR SMALL BUSINESSES By Kevin Komac • Network World needs four or more physical servers. Yes, just four servers. Virtualize your data center and gain these efficiencies and capabilities that aren’t At first glance, blades and blade centers appear expen- possible within a physical-only world sive—costing up to three times more than individual servers. Yet when you consider the potential savings, you will see a Many small businesses with larger server needs are turn- • Communications devices and connections (also return on investment very quickly—usually in just one year. ing to blade servers to pack big power into a small space. housed in the chassis)—switches to connect with Regarding pricing, not all blades are created equal, and But what exactly is a blade server, and how do you know if Ethernet and storage-area network (SAN) devices. prices will vary. Some of this is based on the blade itself, it’s right for your small business? but some if it is based on the required chassis and supple- Blade servers are similar to rack servers, but much The blade system’s modular design is highly compact, mental drives, memory or processors your business may smaller. There are three parts to a blade system: minimizing physical space and reducing energy use. Blade need for the systems you plan to run on it. ➢ servers appeal to small businesses because they are easy Be sure to itemize all of these elements before com- • The blade chassis, which acts like a rack, housing to install and replace, and because they can lower man- paring solutions. Because some manufacturers require the blade servers. The chassis also provides power agement costs. a new chassis for each new blade model they produce, and cooling to the blades. Blade servers may not be a fit for every small business, understand the flexibility of the blade system as a whole • The individual blade servers, which are more com- but it is also a misconception that blades only make sense before you make a decision. If you will need to continually pact than rack-mounted or tower servers, are often for large organizations that need hundreds of servers. upgrade the chassis as you scale up your data center with dedicated to a single application or task. Blades begin to make financial sense once your business blade servers, the cost may not be worth it.Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 2 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  3. 3. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors What many businesses may not realize is that blades can use up to 50% less WHEN LESS IS MORE power than rack servers. Don’t forget to consider all the extras when you shop. The use up to 50% less power than rack servers. Some vendors can manage the blades from anywhere inside or outside blade itself is fairly simple to price out, but your business even have power-sizing tools that allow you to find out how of the data center—even outside your building. may also need to add drives for operating systems, as well much power a configuration will draw before you buy it. It is quick and simple to log in to the chassis (or several as added memory and processors. Beyond that, you may The point is, if you are installing blades as part of a server at once), and point and click on what you need. You can need to add a card or two, depending upon the vendor you consolidation plan, your power and cooling requirements load operating systems remotely, and even enter a basic are buying from. If your business needs more than just two will be less—certainly not greater—than they were with rack input/output system. Certain software suites allow users drives, you will need to purchase added storage as well. servers. However, it is important to note that significantly to simultaneously work with blades, rack servers and vir- scaling up the data center with blades in the same space tual servers—all from one console. The power of the blade can increase the total density of computing, power and cool- Blade servers are a great option for small businesses. They Two questions we hear all the time go something like this: ing requirements to the room. This may eventually require can help your organization keep up with changing business ➢ attention to avoid heat stress on the equipment. demands, and they can simplify your entire IT infrastructure. • What if we decide to put in blades to upgrade our It’s also worth mentioning that blade server manage- If you shop wisely and pay close attention to power and cool- computing power, but we can’t get enough power? ment is easier and less expensive than comparable rack ing demands, blades can give your small business a great • What if we realize that the cooling has become too servers. Your business won’t need to spend money on a deal of computing power, compacted into a tiny space. • expensive—how do we avoid ending up with a bank KVM switch to control multiple servers because blades of blades that we can’t support? allow you to plug a simple network cable into the onboard Kevin Komac is a CDW ESSN business development What many businesses may not realize is that blades can administrator. As long as you have network access, you specialist.Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 3 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  4. 4. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors TOP 10 BENEFITS OF SERVER VIRTUALIZATION By David Marshall • InfoWorld servers, less networking gear, a smaller number of racks Virtualize your data center and gain these efficiencies and capabilities that needed -- all of which translates into less data center floor aren’t possible within a physical-only world space required. That can further save you money if you don’t happen to own your own data center and instead Server virtualization on the x86 platform has been around now wear the T-shirts either. But seriously, who isn’t interested in make use of a co-location facility. for more than a decade, yet many in the industry still consider saving energy these days? Migrating physical servers over 8 it a “new” technology. But those of us who have already adopt- to virtual machines and consolidating them onto far fewer QA/lab environments ed the technology in our own environments have grown to be- physical servers means lowering monthly power and cooling After completing a server consolidation exercise lieve we can’t live without it. Many of us also have the opinion costs in the data center. This was an early victory chant for in the data center, why not donate that hardware that there is simply no going back to a “physical-only world.” server virtualization vendors back in the early part of 2000, to a QA group or build out a lab environment? Virtualiza- As hard as it might be for fellow enthusiasts to wrap and it still holds true today. tion allows you to easily build out a self-contained lab or their arms around it, many people have yet to drink the test environment, operating on its own isolated network. If 9 virtual Kool-Aid. Fellow Kool-Aid drinkers may be asking Reduce the data center footprint you don’t think this is useful or powerful, just look to VM- themselves, “Why is that?” And that’s a great question. This one goes hand in hand with the previous ware’s own trade show, VMWorld. This event creates one benefit. In addition to saving more of your com- of the largest public virtual labs I’ve ever experienced, and 10 Save energy, go green pany’s green with a smaller energy footprint, server con- it truly shows off what you can do with a virtual lab envi- Maybe you aren’t a “save the whales” or “tree solidation with virtualization will also reduce the overall ronment. While this is probably way more lab than you’d hugging” type of person. That’s cool. I don’t footprint of your entire data center. That means far fewer ever actually need in your own environment, you can seeIntel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 4 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  5. 5. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors how building something like this would be cost prohibitive one particular server model can prove quite frustrating. such as being able to move a virtual machine from one data with purely physical servers, and in many cases, techno- But because server virtualization abstracts away the un- center to another no matter the network latency involved, the logically improbable. derlying hardware and replaces it with virtual hardware, virtual world will become that much more in demand. data center managers and owners gain a lot more flex- 7 4 Faster server provisioning ibility when it comes to the server equipment they can Improve disaster recovery As a data center administrator, imagine being choose from. This can also be a handy negotiating tool Virtualization offers an organization three im- able to provide your business units with near in- with the hardware vendors when the time comes to renew portant components when it comes to building stant-on capacity when a request comes down the chain. or purchase more equipment. out a disaster recovery solution. The first is its hardware Server virtualization enables elastic capacity to provide abstraction capability. By removing the dependency on 5 system provisioning and deployment at a moment’s no- Increase uptime a particular hardware vendor or server model, a disaster tice. You can quickly clone a gold image, master template, Most server virtualization platforms now offer a recovery site no longer needs to keep identical hardware or existing virtual machine to get a server up and running number of advanced features that just aren’t found on hand to match the production environment, and IT can within minutes. Remember that the next time you have on physical servers, which helps with business continuity and save money by buying cheaper hardware in the DR site to fill out purchase orders, wait for shipping and receiv- increased uptime. Though the vendor feature names may be since it rarely gets used. Second, by consolidating servers ing, and then rack, stack, and cable a physical machine different, they usually offer capabilities such as live migra- down to fewer physical machines in production, an orga- only to spend additional hours waiting for the operating tion, storage migration, fault tolerance, high availability, and nization can more easily create an affordable replication system and applications to complete their installations. distributed resource scheduling. These technologies keep site. And third, most enterprise server virtualization plat- I’ve almost completely forgotten what it’s like to click virtual machines chugging along or give them the ability to forms have software that can help automate the failover Next > Next > Next. quickly recover from unplanned outages. The ability to quickly when a disaster does strike. The same software usually and easily move a virtual machine from one server to another provides a way to test a disaster recovery failover as well. 6 Reduce hardware vendor lock-in is perhaps one of the greatest single benefits of virtualiza- Imagine being able to actually test and see your failover While not always a bad thing, sometimes being tion with far-reaching uses. As the technology continues to plan work in reality, rather than hoping and praying that it tied down to one particular server vendor or even mature to the point where it can do long-distance migrations, will work if and when the time comes.Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 5 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  6. 6. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors YOU AIN’T HEARD As much as you think you’ve been talked to death about virtualizing your environment, that probably doesn’t even compare to the amount of times in the last year alone that NOTHIN’ YET you’ve had someone talk to you about joining “the cloud.” 3 Isolate applications applications probably fit into one or more of these categories: your environment, that probably doesn’t even compare to In the physical world, data centers typically moved It doesn’t run on a modern operating system, it may not run the amount of times in the last year alone that you’ve to a “one app/one server” model in order to iso- on newer hardware, your IT team is afraid to touch it, and had someone talk to you about joining “the cloud.” The late applications. But this caused physical server sprawl, in- chances are good that the person or company who created it good news here is that by virtualizing your servers and ab- creased costs, and underutilized servers. Server virtualization is no longer around to update it. By virtualizing and encapsu- stracting away the underlying hardware, you are preparing provides application isolation and removes application com- lating the application and its environment, you can extend its yourself for a move into the cloud. The first step may be patibility issues by consolidating many of these virtual ma- life, maintain uptime, and finally get rid of that old Pentium to move from a simple virtualized data center to a private chines across far fewer physical servers. This also cuts down machine hidden in the corner of the data center. You know cloud. But as the public cloud matures, and the technolo- on server waste by more fully utilizing the physical server re- the one, it’s all covered in dust with fingerprints from admin- gy around it advances and you become more comfortable sources and by provisioning virtual machines with the exact istrators long gone and names forgotten. with the thought of moving data out of your data center amount of CPU, memory, and storage resources that it needs. and into a cloud hosting facility, you will have had a head 1 Help move things to the cloud start in getting there. The journey along the way will have 2 Extend the life of older applications Ah yes, the cloud! You knew it was coming at better prepared you and the organization. Let’s be honest—you probably have old legacy ap- some point in this list, didn’t you? As much as plications still running in your environment. These you think you’ve been talked to death about virtualizing What benefits have you gained beyond this list? •Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 6 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  7. 7. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors SEVEN REASONS TO CONSIDER VIRTUALIZATION By Logan G. Harbaugh • PC World other hypervisor running on a different physical server. Big Virtualization has made inroads into many data centers. If your servers are typically set up for better fault tolerance than company isn’t already using it, here’s why it should small servers. Two big servers, for instance, can allow for migration of applications and provide better fault toler- Both server virtualization and desktop virtualization use a 1. It enables you to get the most out of ance than a dozen small servers, while using less energy software core called a hypervisor to run multiple operat- your server hardware. and being easier to manage. ing systems on the same physical server hardware. Each Many servers typically run for most of the day at very low OS is kept separate, with resources dedicated as needed. levels of utilization. Adding multiple OSes and applica- 3. Management is simplified. Since you can buy modern servers with multiple CPUs, tions helps you get the most out of those expensive server Since all the operating systems on a hypervisor can be large amount of memory, lots of storage, and high-band- resources. Since many virtual machines can run on one administered through a single interface, and systems can width network connections, each OS can have as much server, you substantially reduce the total expenditure for be given more computing resources as needed, it can be computing power as an individual server might provide. hardware. much easier to manage a dozen virtual servers than a The operating systems and applications seldom use all dozen separate physical systems. Each operating system available resources, especially at the same times--so 2. It will allow you to set up redundant must still be managed separately, but add-on tools are more operating systems and applications can coexist on servers for better fault tolerance. available to simplify that process as well. a single piece of hardware, resulting in better utilization Hypervisors allow OSes and their applications to be mi- of hardware. grated from one system to another. If one hardware server 4. You can partition applications on If you’re not using virtualization now, you should be or the operating systems and applications running on it separate OSes for greater reliability. thinking about it. Here’s why. fail, those OSes and applications can be moved to an- Normally, a physical server will run one operating sys-Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 7 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  8. 8. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors tem, and that OS will have multiple server applications sive, and installing the operating system and applica- 7. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure can installed on it--a Web server, email server, database tions can be quite time-consuming. Since existing VMs save you a fortune on PCs. server, and so forth. However, running multiple server can be cloned with all operating system configurations In addition to virtualizing server OSs and applications, you applications on a single OS increases the possibility that and applications, it’s a very simple process duplicate a may want to consider virtualizing desktops. VDI allows you one application may interfere with another, causing bot- production system to test new patches or a new version to run a thin client on existing desktop hardware or new tlenecks or even crashes. By partitioning applications of an application. thin client hardware, and access a virtual Windows 7 or in different virtual machines, each application has its other desktop operating system. This means that you can own OS and resources, and is less likely to interfere with 6. You can save energy. provide Windows 7 desktops to users whose existing sys- other applications. While strides have been made in energy efficiency for tems will not support Windows 7 running locally. Manage- servers, it’s still cheaper to run one or two big servers ment can also be simplified, since patches to Windows 5. Provisioning new servers for than a dozen or more separate ones. With the latest and applications can be applied once and take effect for prototyping, testing and migration servers, core parking and other features allow resourc- every system on the VDI server. is simplified. es to be shut down when not in use, further reducing With virtualization, creating an additional server for energy usage. A large server hosting dozens of VMs There’s a reason virtualization is being used so extensively testing takes a few minutes, and doesn’t require any may not use any more energy than one small server at through most corporate data centers. It offers compelling additional hardware. In contrast, buying a new physical low levels of utilization, and it can replace dozens of savings in hardware, energy usage, management costs, server (or keeping extras on hand for testing) is expen- small servers. and it supports great fault tolerance. •Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 8 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources
  9. 9. BLADE SERVERS Sponsored by HP and Intel® Xeon® processors BLADE SERVER RESOURCES ANALYST REPORT ANALYST AWARDS ANALYST REPORT Gartner Magic Quadrant Nemertes Research How Blade Centers Impact Data Center for Blade Servers PilotHouse Awards: Management and Agility The market for blade servers is becoming ever Server for Virtualization This paper examines enterprise adoption of blade more complex and diverse due to the conver- The Nemertes Research PilotHouse Awards provide servers in the US, UK and China; the benefits of gence of related modular form factors, a fast- insight on the performance of technology vendors, ac- blade server use; and the connection between enter- growing interest in fabric-based infrastructure cording to feedback from IT decision makers who use prise data center management and agility goals and and the influence of cloud computing on buying their products or services. See which vendors were blade server use. It reveals that blade servers are behavior. Download the Gartner Magic Quad- recognized for their servers built for virtualization. highly associated with core infrastructure consolida- rant to see how the vendors in blade servers Download >> tion and optimization efforts and offer high value stack up. to users as a virtualization platform and means of Download >> reducing OpEx. Download >>Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 9 of 9 Big Power for Small Businesses Top 10 Benefits of Server Virtualization Seven Resons to Consider Virtualization Blade Server Resources

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