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How reliable are HP's new Blade servers?

Hewlett Packard has released a new range of Blade servers, which basically provides the same configuration in terms of CPU speed and memory configuration as other high-end servers, with the exception that it offers IDE drives and IDE interfaces as disk options. Although HP says that they can very well be used as domain controllers, how wise is it to use such Blade servers as Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 domain controllers running Active Directory-integrated DNS also? We have an enterprise network consisting of 15,000 user objects, 2,000 global group objects and 8,000 computer objects. Would it perform satisfactorily as compared to a similar server but with Ultra Wide 3 SCSI controller and SCSI hard disk?

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Obviously, the system with a faster disk system will operate faster. It will be more noticeable on Windows 2000 since it uses a paging file, even with sufficient RAM. Windows Server 2003 can be configured not to use a paging file when sufficient RAM is present. However, for most applications, a high-speed IDE drive system will be more than sufficient. Plus, it has a lower cost.

This was first published in May 2003

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