Linux on blade server basics

Patrick Green, SearchOpenSource.com

Migrate systems to Linux rack 64-bit blade servers and customers will thank you for the cost savings.

What is a blade server?

A blade server, considered the poor man's supercomputer, is a surprisingly simple server solution made up of a chassis that holds swappable blades, as a bookshelf holds books. Each blade, a standalone server, has a processor, hard drive, operating system, etc. Once the blade is plugged into the chassis, it gets to share power, optical drives, ports and switches – and resources -- with all the other blades.

What are the benefits of blades?

64-bit blades start at $1,500 but they help IT shops save money later by requiring less data center floor space and fewer labor costs because cabling is simpler.

Furthermore, most blades are hot-swappable, they don't require downtime when replaced, and they offer redundancy.

Where are blades best applied?

If your customer needs a powerful Web hosting or clustering solution that is economical and makes use of limited space, then a 64-bit blade cluster is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Why run blades on Linux?

Linux allows companies to save money and increase IT stability, security and power. It's stable because it's a true multiuser, multitasking platform; it's secure because it's immune to viruses; and it's inexpensive because the software can be installed and configured at no cost.

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when and why to consolidate Linux on 64-bit blades at SearchOpenSource.com.

This was first published in January 2007

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