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The networking capabilities of Gigabit Ethernet switches make it possible for servers to achieve higher performance, and the characteristics of BaseX physical layer interconnects make them well-suited for use in blade servers.
Why Dell Blade Servers?
Everyone knows data centers are the best option for secure, always-on computing environments. However, data center real estate is expensive. As a result, ever-thinner, rack-optimized servers have been developed. A Dell blade server chassis further increases server density, allowing six blades to occupy half the space of Dell’s already thin “pizza-box” servers. Each blade server contains a circuit board with memory, a CPU, and a hard disk – stacked side by side, interconnected over a common backplane with one or more fabric (switch) blades, sharing a power supply, cables, and storage. All of this reduces heat production, cost, and space.
Blade servers offer improved performance and reliability through dedicated software, and flexibility that allows administrators to quickly reassign groups of blades to different computing tasks.
Using an Ethernet switching fabric between server blades makes connecting the blade server chassis to the rest of the network exceedingly efficient and cost effective. Most enterprise networks use Ethernet in the LAN. When the underlying blade server fabric and the network technology are the same, it eliminates the need for protocol converters.
Powerful Ethernet features inherent with blade servers: CoS prioritizes time-sensitive traffic. Port aggregation (trunking) allows bandwidth to be increased in 1 Gbps increments between blades and other attached devices. Redundancy is inherent in port aggregation with automatic trunk failover. Multiple cascading blade servers can be deployed with direct Ethernet links between two or more fabrics, using low cost Cat5 cables.