Does your server rack have something like this in it? Are the nerds explaining how its the next big thing in computing. Has it been mostly empty for a while? You’ve been had, your money was wasted, and you should fire your IT guys who recommended it to you. Welcome to a blog devoted to outing bad IT practices that are costing you money, time, performance objectives.
This is a Blade Server Chassis (Dell in particular) and this is an example of one with 2 servers installed. The idea is that you buy stripped down servers that share power supplies, network and storage switches, as well as large fans allowing for super dense deployment of servers with far fewer cables and a single vendor that supports the entire thing. In some cases it can be a good idea, you spend some money up front and once you fill it up you save on cabling, hassle and redundant components. When you see one like this however (especially one that is two years old or more) you’ve been had. The chassis itself is a box with just fans and power supplies runs a minimum of $30k and after support/networking/storage network and other goodies are added this easily doubles. This is fine if its supporting all 16 half hight servers and reducing cost from fully loading those, but in a case like this your paying two to three times what servers costs, and by the time you get around to filling it out 5 years later the chassis itself will be out of date, causing an expensive rip and replace of not just your servers but ALL of your infrastructure to start this over. I’ve seen one of these loaded with only the equivalent of 3 desktops sold installed and configured for $150,000.
Why do people buy them then abandon them?
- Unrealistic growth and budget forecasting
- Budget forecasting that comes in big chucks every 4-5 years
- They Heard it was the “Enterprise” way of doing this
- Complete lack of understanding of performance needs to accomplish business objectives
- Find an excuse to put it on another department’s budget