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
I also tested the remote management tools across a VPN linked through a relatively high-latency connection, like you might find in a hotel. It was a bit sluggish, but usable. The trade-off for Web interfaces is always functionality and grace versus weight and speed, and Dell has found a reasonable medium.
Dell's Java-based remote console application proved quite complete, offering nearly every possible option, including power and drive-mounting functions. It worked extremely well in all cases and did not seem at all fragile, unlike some others. Unfortunately, it doesn't function on Mac OS X, but it does run on Linux and Windows.
Like HP and IBM, Dell offers a larger management package in Dell OpenManage that can manage groups of servers and blade chassis. While OpenManage wasn't strictly part of the test, it deserves mention.
Dell has implemented dynamic power and cooling features in the M1000e chassis. This means the chassis can shut down power supplies when the power isn't needed, and it can ramp the fans up and down depending on load and the location of that load. Thus, if only a few blades in slots one through three are working hard, the fans behind those blades will spin faster while the other fans spin at normal levels. This decreases power draw to some degree and still ensures that the cooling is present where necessary. As a result, the Dell solution was roughly on par with the HP chassis in terms of power draw during our two-blade power test, averaging just under 1kW at idle and about 1.25kW with the two blades under load. This was lower power utilization than the IBM BladeCenter H, which lacks the Dell's and HP's dynamic power and cooling features.
Dell offers lots of punch in the M1000e and has really brushed up the embedded management tools. As the lowest-priced solution except for the budget-conscious Supermicro entry, the M1000e has the best price/performance ratio and is a great value.
[ Return to "Blade server shoot-out: Dell, HP, and IBM battle for the virtual data center" | Read the review of the Dell PowerEdge M1000e, HP BladeSystem c7000, IBM BladeCenter H, or Supermicro SuperBlade. ]
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