Are blade servers still a viable platform, or is the technology fading away?
Anywhere where the availability of rack space is an issue, blade servers are still a most viable platform. They've only gotten more popular and have evolved into the next generation of blade servers, also known as the converged computing platform.
Where some years ago the blade server appeared as an alternative to the full rack server or even the mini tower server, nowadays blade servers are much more than just some servers that are put in a blade chassis. When applied in a converged computing platform, the blade server includes networking as well. They also often have a hypervisor pre-installed. That makes allocating new hardware quickly much easier when treating hardware resources as if they were virtual machines.
Converged computing platforms are not for everyone, as the entry price is rather high. And for that reason, basic solutions are sold as well. These are often called converged computing solutions, but you can think of them as blade servers 2.0 -- an old solution with a new label. Blade servers still are very much alive!
About the author:
Sander van Vugt is an independent trainer and consultant based in the Netherlands. He is an expert in Linux high availability, virtualization and performance. He has authored many books on Linux topics, including Beginning the Linux Command Line, Beginning Ubuntu LTS Server Administration and Pro Ubuntu Server Administration.
This was first published in April 2013