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.

Test results

It is a tightly contested race between these two industry heavyweights, each pulling ahead of the other at different times.

HP's BL460c misses out to IBM's HS22 in Arithmetic tests, but performs better in Multimedia testing. As is to be expected, with such a behemoth of an enclosure (and running four servers as opposed to two servers for IBM) the HP BL460c uses more energy; however, at idle it only uses about a quarter more than IBM's machine. Given that the HP BL460c has twice as many servers it would be reasonable to expect it to use half as much energy again so that was a pleasant surprise.

In the Sungard tests HP performs best, but in the Cinebench testing IBM edges ahead. The biggest surprise and something that we can't quite put our finger on is the Memory bandwidth tests. While IBM performed comfortably with scores in the low 30s, HP flat lined at 10GB/sec. The only physical disparity between the memory configurations of the two servers is that the IBM blade is configured with 24GB total RAM, while the HP has 22GB, which is a slight mismatch (HP engineers populated it with disparate 2GB and 4GB modules!).

To summarise such a tightly contested race is difficult given the similar performance that favoured each vendor in different ways. If it comes down to a photo finish Enex would say IBM comes in by the tip of a nose in front.

(Credit: Enex)

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

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