Dell M-Series blades: Reliable innovation

Going the Extra Mile

At Dell, we’ve long understood that server reliability is critical for our customers, and we’ve strived to provide exceptionally dependable platforms featuring such proven technologies as RAID, multiple redundant power supplies, and cooling fans. When designing the PowerEdge M-series, Dell drew from this legacy of reliability, giving our customers the benefits of these time-tested technologies. And then we went the extra mile. In order to minimize impact of component replacement, all networking, power & cooling modules are hot-swappable and customer replaceable – Dell even made sure that all network fabrics were fully redundant, so that something as simple as a bad cable or connector would not interfere with system availability.

Integrated Innovation

The PowerEdge M-series also offers innovative technologies found nowhere else, such as FlexAddress, in order to maximize uptime. FlexAddress is a persistent naming infrastructure that allows WWN and MAC addresses to be assigned at the server ‘slot’ level as opposed to the physical NIC/CNA/HBA itself. This allows an entire blade server to be replaced (if necessary) without re-zoning iSCSI or Fibre Channel SAN switches or adjusting MAC-dependent access control functions. Unlike competitive solutions that trumpet similar capabilities and require additional hardware to implement, FlexAddress manages these virtual WWN/MAC addresses at the chassis level with a completely unique pool of 3,136 available addresses, preventing any possible duplication of MAC/WWN information between chassis or infrastructure locations. This huge FlexAddress repository can support a massive amount of physical and virtual NICs per server, accommodating even the most complex virtual environments and ensuring that even in the unlikely event of a system failure, your infrastructure can be back up and running at full strength in a bare minimum time frame.

Maximizing Uptime

With this constant attention to reliability, it should come as no surprise that the M-series continues to push the envelope when it comes to innovative solutions to maximize system uptime. The latest PowerEdge Blade servers, the M710HD, M910 and M915, deploy Dell’s unique Failsafe Virtualization technology, which uses dual, integrated SD media cards in a redundant infrastructure similar to RAID. This architecture automatically provides failover for ‘embedded hypervisors’ such as VMware’s vSphere ESXi and Citrix XenServer, preventing unplanned downtime within your virtual infrastructure without the expense of hard drives or RAID controllers.

With innovative technologies such as FlexAddress and Failsafe Virtualization, it’s no wonder that PowerEdge M-series blade servers continue to be among the most trusted and reliable platforms available. For more information on M-Series blade servers and their technologies, visit

About the Author: Robert Bradfield