prk: (Default)
Over the past years, the trend in data centre servers has been towards blades. Instead of buying each server as a self contained unit (power supplies, network interfaces, etc) you buy a blade centre chassis, put the modules you want in it (network, fibre channel, etc), then just plug individual blades into it.

There are various advantages to blades - consolidating power & cooling, overall management, higher density of servers per rack, etc. There's plenty of info out there if you Google for it.

With blades, as you now have many servers (14 in the IBM Blade Centre H Chassis) relying on the chassis, you ensure it's as redundant as possible - redundant power supplies, power feeds, network switches, fibre channel switches, etc. In theory, the worst that can happen is you lose a switch, or a power supply, and everything keeps working, perhaps at reduced capacity.

In practice, things can get much worse... )