Blade Servers Comparison: Dell vs HPE vs Lenovo vs Huawei

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We have known there are rack server and tower server in the market, but we also should know the blade servers are one of the popular choices when selecting servers.

What is a Blade Server?

A blade server is a stripped-down server computer with a modular design optimized to minimize the use of physical space and energy.

Blade servers have many components removed to save space, minimize power consumption and other considerations, while still having all the functional components to be considered a computer. Its main structure is a large mainframe with many “Blade”, each of which “blade” is actually a system motherboard. It is a HAHD (High Availability High Density) low-cost server platform designed specifically for special applications and high-density computing environments.

Blade Servers provide these advantages:

(1) Significantly reduce operating management costs

(2) High processing capacity density, saving valuable space and land occupation costs

(3) Low power consumption and electricity bill

(4) Improved reliability design, reducing downtime

(5) Optical path diagnosis

(6) Cable connection points are greatly reduced

(7) Redundant switching module and cable connection

However, blade servers also have these disadvantages:

(1) The upfront cost of deploying a blade data center is high.

(2) Regardless of the built-in redundancy of the blade server, there is a possibility that all blade servers will be down and fail.

(3) For enterprise users with one or two blade centers, it may not be cost-effective to purchase spare parts (such as spare chassis, etc.).

(4) Most blade centers have special power requirements, which may mean additional upfront costs for special cables.

(5) The blade center usually uses a dedicated network card and KVM accessories, and sometimes requires special cables or drivers. So what operating system is running on your blade server is a question.

(6) 2.5-inch hard disks commonly used in most blade centers usually have a higher failure rate than traditional 3.5-inch SAS / SATA hard disks used in non-blade servers (this defect is being improved over time).

(7) Once you promise to use the blade center, you will be restricted by the manufacturer when you buy the blade server, which is not good for the supplier from the perspective of price.

How to choose right blade servers for your need?

If you don’t mind the disadvantages of blade servers, you can select the most suitable one for your need, from these four popular brands, Dell, HPE, Huawei and Lenovo.

Table 1 shows the models of Dell EMC blade servers.

Dell EMC FC430 FC640 FC830 MX740c MX840c M640 M830
Form Factor 1/4 Width Half Width Full Width Full Height, Single-Wide Full Height, Double-Wide Half Height Full Height
Max. Servers per Chassis 8 4 2 8 4 16 8
Type of CPUs Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon E5-4600 v4 Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon E5-4600 v4
# CPU Sockets 2 2 4 2 4 2 4
Max Core per CPU 18 28 22 28 28 28 22
Max Cores 36 56 88 56 112 56 88
# internal drives 2 2 8 6 8 2 4
Supported Drive Types SSD SAS, SATA, SSD, NVMe SAS, SATA, SSD, NVMe SAS, SATA, SSD, NVMe SAS, SATA, SSD, NVMe SAS, SATA, SSD, NVMe SAS, SSD, NVMe*
Max LAN on Motherboard 2 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE 4 x 25GbE 4 x 25GbE 4 x 10GbE 8 x 10GbE
# NIC/HBA Card Expansion Slots 1 2 4 2 4 2 4
# of DIMM Slots 8 16 48 24 48 16 48
Max Memory DIMM (GB) 64 128 64 128 128 128 64
Max Memory (GB) 512 2048 3072 3072 6144 2048 3072
Max # Servers 168 84 42 48 24 64 32
Max CPUs 336 168 84 96 96 128 128
Max CPU Cores 6048 4704 1848 2688 2688 3584 2816
Max Memory (GB) 86,016 172,032 129,024 147,456 147,456 131,072 98,304

*PCIe SSD limited to 2 drives

Table 2 shows the models of HPE blade servers.

HPE Model BL460c Gen 10 BL460c Gen 9 BL660c Gen 9 Synergy 480, 620, 660, 680
Form Factor Half Height Half Height Full Height Half Height, Full Height, Double-Wide
Max. Servers per Chassis 16 16 8 12,6 ,3
Type of CPUs Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 Intel Xeon E5-4600 v4 Intel Xeon SP, E5-2600 v4, E7 v4, E5-4600 v4
# CPU Sockets 2 2 4 2, 4
Max Core per CPU 26 22 22 28, 24, 22
Max Cores 52 44 88 56, 44, 48, 112, 88, 96
# internal drives 2 2 4 2, 4
Supported Drive Types SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD
Max LAN on Motherboard 2 x 20GbE 2 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE 2 x 25/50GbE
# NIC/HBA Card Expansion Slots 2 2 3 2,4 5, 9
# of DIMM Slots 16 16 32 24, 48, 96
Max Memory DIMM (GB) 128 64 64 128, 64
Max Memory (GB) 2048 1024 2048 3072, 1536, 6144
Max # Servers 64 64 32 48, 24, 12
Max CPUs 128 128 128 96, 48
Max CPU Cores 3328 2816 2816 2688, 2112, 1152
Max Memory (GB) 131,072 65,536 65,536 147,456

73,728

36,864

* reduced one expansion slot on Synergy 600 series servers to account for LAN on Motherboard

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Table 3 shows the models of Lenovo blade servers.

Lenovo Model Flex System SN850 Flex System SN550 Flex System x240 M5 Flex System x480 X6 Flex System x880 X6
Form Factor Double-Wide Single-Wide Single-Wide Double-Wide Double-Wide
Max. Servers per Chassis 7 14 14 7 7
Type of CPUs Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 Intel Xeon E7-4800 v3 Intel Xeon E7-8800 v3
# CPU Sockets 4 2 2 2 2
Max Core per CPU 28 28 22 14 18
Max Cores 112 56 44 28 36
# internal drives 4 2 2 2 2
Supported Drive Types SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD
LAN on Motherboard 4 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE
# NIC/HBA Card Expansion Slots 4 1 1 4 4
# of DIMM Slots 48 24 24 48 48
Max Memory DIMM (GB) 128 128 64 32 32
Max Memory (GB) 6144 3072 1536 1536 1536
Max # Servers 28 56 56 28 28
Max CPUs 112 112 112 56 56
Max CPU Cores 3136 3136 2464 784 1008
Max Memory (GB) 172,032 172,032 86,016 43,008 43,008

Table 4 shows the models of Huawei blade servers.

Huawei Model FusionServer CH242 V5 FusionServer CH121 V5
Form Factor Double-Wide Single-Wide
Max. Servers per Chassis 8 16
Type of CPUs Intel Xeon SP Intel Xeon SP
# CPU Sockets 4 2
Max Core per CPU 28 28
Max Cores 112 56
# internal drives 4 2
Supported Drive Types SAS, SATA, SSD SAS, SATA, SSD
LAN on Motherboard 4 x 10GbE 4 x 10GbE
# NIC/HBA Card Expansion Slots 4 1
# of DIMM Slots 48 24
Max Memory DIMM (GB) 128 128
Max Memory (GB) 6144 3072
Max # Servers 24 48
Max CPUs 96 96
Max CPU Cores 2688 2688
Max Memory (GB) 147,456 147,456

If you’re interested in the blade servers, please contact us (sales@router-switch.com), or visit our online shop:

HPE Blade Servers

Huawei E-Series Blade Server

Related topics:

What is a blade server and the advantages of a blade server

Cisco Server vs. HPE Server vs. Dell Server

Rack Server Vs Blade Server

What’s new with HP ProLiant BL460c Gen9?

Top 10 resources for getting to know HPE BladeSystem

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