What's the best blade server?

Summary:Blade servers were once the saviours of the datacentre. Expandability was king. But do blade servers still make sense today? We find out if they're still worth it.

Benchmarks and tests

Sandra Pro 2009
Sandra Pro is a low-level benchmarking tool that focuses on sub-system performance rather than whole of system performance. This allows the TestLab to identify strengths and weaknesses in a particular sub-system. The tests utilised are:

  • CPU Arithmetic Benchmark (MP/MT support)
  • CPU Multimedia Benchmark (including MMX, MMX Enh, 3DNow!, 3DNow! Enh, SSE(2)) (MP/MT support)
  • Memory Bandwidth Benchmark (MP/MT support)

Sungard Adaptiv Credit Risk
Sungard Adaptiv Credit Risk application is a component of Sungard's comprehensive suite of risk management products. This workload is a scaled down version of the full application. At its core the application utilises a proprietary Monte Carlo method financial engine to determine the future value of a fictitious portfolio.

This package consists of a Microsoft Windows-based .NET application and two data files — a sample market data and a sample portfolio, which provide input to the financial engine.

The benchmark is self timed in seconds and the shorter the run time, the better the performance.

Cinebench 9.5
Cinebench is the free benchmarking tool for Windows and Mac OS-based on the powerful 3D software Cinema 4D. The tool is set to deliver accurate benchmarks by testing not only a computer's raw processing speed but also all other areas that affect system performance such as OpenGL, multithreading, multiprocessors and Intel's HT Technology.

Cinebench includes render tasks that test the performance of up to 16 multiprocessors on the same computer as well as software-only shading tests and OpenGL shading tests on huge numbers of animated polygons that will push any computer to its limits.

Power usage
The TestLab uses a hardware power meter to take in-line readings of the power usage measured in Watts between the wall socket and the device being tested. Recording the peak and idle values.

Blade server configurations

 HP BL460cIBM HS22
CPU typeIntel Xeon E5530 2.40GHz quad-coreIntel Xeon E5530 2.40GHz quad-core
Number of CPUs22
Memory type 1Micron MT36JBZF51272PY-1G4D1BA 4GB DDR3Micron MT36JBZS51272PY-1G4D1BA 4GB DDR3
Memory type 2Micron MT18JSF25672PDZ-1G4D1AB 2GB DDR3Not applicable
Amount of memory4x 4GB / 3x 2GB = 22GB total6x 4GB = 24GB total
Hard drive brandHP DG072BB975Seagate Savvio ST9146803SS
Hard drive capacity72GB146GB
Hard drive speed10,000rpm10,000rpm

Topics: Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, Servers, Tech & Work

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