Keeping Limits in Mind

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2002-06-10 Print this article Print

Keeping Limits in Mind

Other IT managers, although optimistic about blade servers, arent yet as willing to move mission-critical applications that require scalability onto blade technologies. Craig Goren, president and chief technology officer at Centerpost, in Chicago, has deployed three HP ProLiant BL blade servers and uses the technology to power his Web services infrastructure. His company, which provides a Web-based service that allows clients such as UAL Corp. to communicate with customers via voice and data on wired and wireless hardware, can now install seven times more servers in its co-location space by using blade technology rather than rack-mounted servers. Goren estimated that he will save 50 percent off a similarly configured nonblade environment using the three chassis he has loaded with server blades.

Goren is cautious, though, about using blades to provide more than just raw CPU power to deliver I/O or computation performance. While he would like to run databases on blade technology, he said he will wait at least six to 12 months before considering the idea. Management software that can ensure reliability and scalability just isnt there yet, he said.

Its not surprising, then, that companies without pressing data center space limitations so far have little incentive to move to blade server technologies until the management software is ready. At Morgan Stanley, which operates its own data centers in Oakland and Cottonwood, Utah, Braunstein said he will look at some blade server hardware offerings from Sun when they are released later this year. But, he said, he is in no hurry to move blade servers into his production environment.

That doesnt mean, however, that once management software is in place, companies such as Morgan Stanley wont seriously consider blade servers. "The execution is going to require some attention, and some of the pieces need to be worked through," said Braunstein. "Holistically, though, I think blade technologies are the right approach."

Links to additional articles in this Special Report:
  • Review: Two Blades Cut Path to Manageability
  • Consider Virtualization Return
  • F5, Jareva Management Tools Rein in Blade Systems

    As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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