Changing the dynamics of blades. Again.

In 2008, when Dell launched the PowerEdge M-series, it signaled a new approach towards blades. Like all Dell servers, the birth of the M-series was prefaced by intense conversations with customers, driving the design of a solution built on their real needs and desires. The end product was a shared infrastructure server solution that addressed the desire of our customers. They wanted increased density and power efficiency combined with improved management and networking functionality that would still integrate easily into existing and widely varied infrastructures. With Dell’s commitment to customer-inspired design, functional efficiency and elegantly simple manageability, the PowerEdge M-series delivered a new dynamic for blades – a solution built to augment existing investments and address a wide myriad of data center needs without being presented as the cure for all data center woes and requiring massive ‘rip and replace’ deployment.

Since its inception, the Dell M-series has pushed the envelope with industry-leading shared-infrastructure cooling design and introduced such innovations as FlexAddress, agent-free bare-metal deployment and geographically-dispersed multi-chassis management. M-series blades have also been the introductory platforms for Dell’s unique Failsafe Virtualization, Switch Independent Partitioning, and Select Network Adapter technologies.

Common themes run through Dell blades-based innovation: the lack of dependencies on additional associated hardware – such as specific chassis or top-of-rack network switch infrastructures – and management simplification by reducing or removing reliance on traditional agent-console management structures. This results in easier, more cost effective blades deployment, operation, and management. When coupled with the fact that M-series blades have always delivered the greatest performance per watt of any blades infrastructure, it’s easy to see why discriminating customers that appreciate flexibility and efficiency choose Dell M-series to be at the core of their datacenters.

With our 12th Generation of PowerEdge servers, a new set of blade platforms is here to continue and extend M-series leadership. The M620 pushes the envelope of expandability and performance in a traditional ‘half-height’ 2-socket blade, and the M820 does the same for the 4-socket ‘full-height’ blade space. Both are exceptionally capable and, along with our mainstream M520 2-socket blade represent a true next generational leap in capabilities for Dell.

But there is another blade…

The M420 is a game-changer in every sense of the word. Others have tried to improve density by compromise-laden efforts, such as double motherboard ‘half-height’ designs, but never before has there been an Enterprise-class ultra-dense ‘quarter-height’ blade. The M420 delivers unprecedented computational density – up to 32 independent and individually serviceable nodes in just 10U of rack space – with no compromise on reliability and availability features such as hardware RAID and hot-swappable hard drives. Dell was even able to deliver Failsafe Virtualization, our unique redundant SD media infrastructure for embedded hypervisors. With two powerful Intel Xeon E5-2400 processors and up to 192GB of RAM in each blade, Dell has a platform capable of handling virtually any mainstream datacenter workload, from mid-tier databases and mainstream virtualization farms to High Performance Computing (HPC) and Cloud application deployments. With double the number of extremely capable and fully functional nodes in a comparable amount of space, the M420 can literally remove HALF of the shared infrastructure expense of additional blades chassis, power supplies and switches from a datacenter. Since the M420 offers a full suite of Enterprise-class features, CIOs and IT administrators do not have to compromise reliability for the performance, efficiency and economic benefits greater density can provide. Dell is truly changing the dynamics of blades…once again.

About the Author: Robert Bradfield