3 Expert Tips for Blade Server Planning

Blade servers can be an effective solution for conserving data center space and adding more processing power to your rack. Gartner research director Jane Wright offers these tips for technology managers to get the most bang for their buck.

1. Negotiate your price. Wright says the blade server market is one of the fastest growing in information-technology infrastructure. Even the big vendors are looking to grab as many customers as possible, so companies should push for not only lower prices, but add-ons like free training and management tools.

2. Expect faster ROI. Gartner advises clients to plan for a five-year return on investment with traditional rackmount servers. But for blades, Wright says, two to three years in a more logical expectation. That’s because companies can find cost savings in power use, since blades can run on less electricity than traditional servers; and on repair and maintenance, because blades, due to their rack setup, are easier to pull out and fix.

3. Standards are key. With each new blade release comes the task of certifying the products on storage and network standards. Carefully check what brands and models of storage interconnect with particular blades, Wright says. She recommends consulting storage and network managers before making a purchase to ensure that the blades support the system or systems your company has standardized on.