TA23 Virtual Infrastructurs: Scale Up or scale out? Rack or blade form factors?

An interesting aspect of the design of a virtual infrastructue is the choice of server hardware. Should I buy few servers with 4CPU’s or more and internal memory to be able to achieve a high consolidation rate (and reduce the number of ESX licenses) or should I buy lots of servers with 1 or 2 CPU”s for preventing to have too many eggs in the same basket? And choose for blades or rack mounted servers?

This session presented by Massimo Re Ferre of IBM mentioned the pro’s and cons of the options. The room was completely full with around 200 attendees.

More on this subject can be found on Massimo his website:

IT 2.0 :  Next Generation IT infrastructures  http://it20.info/blogs/main/archive/2009/02/04/175.aspx

The presentation can be found here http://it20.info/files/3/documentation/entry186.aspx

Generally speaking the presentation was very good. What hardware is best for your infrastructure depends. Generally speaking, when you want to scale up (lots of resources per server) you better select rack mounted servers. A blade with 4 sockets does have a limited number of memory slots. To be able to utilize the CPU resources, you must have lots of memory. To reach that, you have to use expensive 8 GB memory modules. Also, a rack cannot be  filled completely with blades because of power and cooling.

Lots of cores = lots of memory

To make things worse for blades, the next generation of Intel CPU’s cores called Intel i7 will be 300% faster than the current Intel core.  

Blades = scale out and racks mounted is scale up.


About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

One Response to TA23 Virtual Infrastructurs: Scale Up or scale out? Rack or blade form factors?

  1. Pingback: VMworld 2009 Europe Linkage » Yellow Bricks

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