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What are your power and cooling capacities?

Learn why you should ask your clients about their data center environmentals, such as power and cooling requirements, before embarking on a blade server virtualization project.

Q: What are the current data center environmentals, things like the electrical capacity of the racks?

Meet the expert
Martin MacLeod is an IT consultant based in London with several years' experience deploying and supporting blade servers in volume. He also blogs at, where he tracks news on blade servers, grids and virtualization. Listen to the rest of Martin's answers on blade server virtualization by downloading our blade server virtualization podcast.

 With a blade solution, what you're doing is condensing and compressing the number of servers you have in one rack down to a small amount. But you still have the same data center environmentals -- your power and cooling requirements. You need to work out the current power usage of your rack -- how much your rack can power the enclosures -- because that will determine how many blades you can have in a rack. The typical standard is that you may have up to 48 HP blades or up to 70 IBM blades in one rack. That is also linked to your ability to cool the blades and keep everything running at optimal temperature, because the number of blades you can host in your data center is going to affect how many virtual machines you can have, how big your infrastructure can grow.

This was last published in February 2008

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