Blade server review: Dell PowerEdge M1000e
Dell's M1000e blade system lags HP and IBM in features and options, but hits the mark in performance and priceFollow @pvenezia
In our January 2007 blade server shoot-out, Dell was the dark horse candidate that posted impressive performance numbers, but fell short on features compared to the other solutions. In the intervening few years, Dell has clearly taken the time to polish up its solution. The Dell PowerEdge M1000e is far more attractive and functional than its predecessors.
In today's M1000e, a brand-new set of chassis management tools offer many features suited for day-to-day operations, and the chassis-wide deployment and modification tools are simply fantastic. The downsides include some lack of visibility into chassis environmental parameters and the absence of multichassis management capabilities. Unless you put external management tools to use, each Dell chassis exists as an island.
The main selling points of the Dell blades system are the density and price. The M1000e makes a great virtualization platform, but would do well in just about any situation. It doesn't offer some of the expansion of the HP chassis, but does offer similar features to the IBM solution, but if you have no need for internal storage or centralized multichassis management, it's a great solution.
Chassis and blades
The M1000e blade enclosure squeezes 16 half-height blades into a 10U chassis with six redundant hot-plug power supplies, nine hot-plug fan modules, six I/O module slots (supporting Dell PowerConnect gigabit and 10G switches), three different Cisco modules (supporting gigabit internals and 10G uplinks), a Brocade 8Gbps FC module, and both Ethernet and 4Gbps FC pass-through modules. If InfiniBand is your flavor, there's a 24-port Mellanox option as well.
On the front of the chassis is a 2-inch color LCD panel and control pad that can be used to step through initial configuration and to perform chassis monitoring and simple management tasks.