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
The blades used in this test were Dell PowerEdge M610 units, each with two 2.93GHz Intel Westmere X5670 CPUs, 24GB of DDR3 RAM, and two Intel 10G interfaces to two Dell PowerConnect 8024 10G switches in the I/O slots on the back of the chassis. If there's only a single switch in the back, only one port will be active per blade. This is a limitation shared by all the chassis tested.
The blades themselves have a very solid, compact feel. They slide easily in and out of the chassis and have a very well-designed handle that doubles as a locking mechanism. The blades are fairly standard, offering two CPU sockets and 12 DIMM slots, two 2.5-inch SAS drive bays driven by a standard Dell PERC RAID controller, two USB 2.0 ports on the front, and a selection of mezzanine I/O cards at the rear to allow for gigabit, 10G, or InfiniBand interfaces. An internal SD card option permits flash booting of a diskless blade, which can come in handy when running embedded hypervisors like VMware ESXi. There's also an SSD option for the local disk.
One drawback to the Dell solution compared to the HP blades is the relative lack of blade options. Dell offers several different models of blades, but they're all iterations of the same basic compute blade with different CPU and disk options. There are no storage blades or virtualization-centric blades. You'll get two or four CPUs, DIMM slots, and two 2.5-inch drive bays in each. Some of the blades do offer internal SD-card options for booting embedded hypervisors like VMware ESXi.