Once the perceived complexity of blade infrastructures has been eliminated, it is important to look at the many advantages that blade infrastructures provide.
One key advantage of blade server infrastructures it that they save time, which in turn saves dollars. Time is saved in multiple ways. For instance, since provisioning a new blade server into a blade infrastructure is as easy as inserting a new server into the blade chassis, time is saved by eliminating work that would be necessary when provisioning a rackmount server such as connecting external power, network or fiber cables. All of these components have been consolidated within the blade chassis by means of the common midplane.
Another way that time is saved with a blade infrastructure is through administration. The blade enclosure management software offers remote control capabilities over the blade chassis and its individual components. This allows administrators to remotely log in and perform management tasks for every aspect of the blade chassis through the combination of web management software and remote consoles. This allows for reduced man hours, freeing administrators for other tasks.
Another key advantage offered by a blade infrastructure is adaptability. Blade infrastructures are change-ready because they can easily start out with just a single blade server in the chassis and expand to grow alongside evolving organizations. As further proof of its adaptability, all modular components that are deployed within the blade chassis can be swapped without having to power down.
Additionally, since blade enclosures can accommodate interconnect modules like Ethernet network switches and FC for SANs, adding one is a simple process. To begin, the interconnect module will need to be added to the blade chassis. Then the server blade IO module needs to be mapped to the switch ports through the blade management software. The blade management software can also automate operating system deployment and patching for further adaptability.
Blade infrastructures are also energy-efficient. Due to the shared power and cooling provided by the blade chassis, blade infrastructures offer a reduced heat signature and power requirements. This allows more energy-efficiency than traditional rack-mount servers, which enables blade servers to reduce overall power consumption and heat output and therefore, reduces the number of cooling fans that are needed.
Additionally, chassis-based power supplies and cooling fans tend to have more enterprise level features and offer better reliability and efficiency than the standard units installed in commodity rack servers.
The biggest advantage of blade infrastructures is the cost-savings that result from reduced management and support costs, reduced IT infrastructure costs, and reduced third-party expenses.
The reduced management and support costs are derived from reduced startup, less management, and reduced downtime. The reduced IT infrastructure costs are the result of the shared components within the blade chassis due to the common midplane. The decreased third-party expenses are a result of reduced cabling and the lack of need for third-party management tools.