It is interesting how, despite the fact that computing devices are made smaller and smaller as technology continues to improve, computing needs can still require a large amount of physical space. On the whole, computers have reduced the amount of physical space required to store information that would otherwise take much more space in the form of large filing cabinets, but for small office buildings where square footage is a treasured commodity, large server facilities can sometimes have a larger presence than is desirable.
Luckily, the same trend that produces smaller and smaller iPods and laptops is also at play in reducing the size of servers. The Dell blade server significantly reduces the space required by server facilities due to its efficient design. A blade server is a unit that can be inserted into a blade server chassis, where it is powered and cooled along with all of the other blades. Blade servers are easily removable from the chassis, so companies can add capacity easily by inserting another blade into the blade system. The blade system provides electrical power and cooling for each blade, and by centralizing power input and cooling mechanisms, blade technology uses power and other resources more efficiently than traditional rack-mount servers. The space-saving and efficient design of the blade server is also an upgrade from traditional rack-mount servers in terms of computing power and efficiency. In this way, Dell enterprise solutions reduce the cost of powering servers while also conserving limited environmental resources and reducing the amount of space needed to meet computing needs.
Dell power edge blade servers
A recent commercial dramatically demonstrates the utility of space-saving server technology by depicting former basketball star and ESPN sports commentator Charles Barkley as an IT employee at an unnamed corporation. Barkley comes into a room that has a desk (his desk) in one corner and a reduced-size basketball court occupying the other half of the room. Barkley asks another employee what happened to all the servers that used to take up the entirety of the large room, and the employee tells him that the servers are no longer needed because the company is now using newer technology that reduces its need for large servers. This illustrates the abilities and technological advance that blade server technology is capable of producing with similar space-saving results. I’m sure that most companies would be able to find a dozen uses for freed-up space in their office buildings other than putting in a basketball court, and in reality the amount of space saved by blade server technology probably wouldn’t be sufficient for putting in an entire basketball court, but the fact remains that, in situations where every square foot matters, blade technology can produce the desired outcome of creating more office space.
Smaller companies that may stand to benefit the most from the space-saving effect of blade servers may be the most hesitant to invest in new server technology because of the cost of buying new servers. However, because blade servers increase computing efficiency and help reduce power costs, the benefit of saved space is not the only benefit of investing in blade servers, and the multiple benefits of blade servers make them a smart upgrade for small businesses looking to stay competitive in the marketplace.