Let's face it - marketing hype surrounding new product offerings has lost its appeal. Most techies realize their jobs are to solve problems, not be the first to adopt a nifty gizmo into their IT infrastructures. So let's lose the hype and consider the basic benefits that server blade vendors pitch - smaller size, easier management and fewer cables. If these expectations are met and performance and usability don't suffer, server blade systems could be valuable tools in IT data centers.
We looked at two server blade offerings from Hewlett-Packard - the heavy-duty BL p-Class and the lower-end BL e-Class servers. The p-Class blade system scored a 4.3, based on its great management and serviceability features, plus strong performance. The e-Class scored a 3.7, but we felt that HP cut some corners with the e-Class features.
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