5 Things Blade Server Manufacturers Won't Tell You

  Over the past several years, I’ve run across some things that the blade manufacturer’s won’t easily tell you.  Today, I reveal some of those secrets.

#1 Anything that Goes Inside the Chassis Assumes the Chassis Warranty – if you buy a new Ethernet switch 2 years into a 3 year hardware warranty, it only has 1 year of warranty once you place it inside the chassis.  On the flip side, if you install a previously owned switch it will gain 1 year of warranty.  There are some exceptions to this rule.  For example, HP requires a separate hardware warranty for their BladeSystem fibre switches.

#2 Using Non-OEM Memory (RAM) Will NOT Void the Warranty – in the event that you have a server issue that needs work, the manufacturer will still work on the server, but they may require that you remove the non-OEM memory or replace it with OEM memory prior to work. 

#3 Power Calculators Often Have a 10-20% Uplift Factored In – most of the blade manufacturers offer power calculators, so if you find yourself coming close to the maximum recommended power, you’re probably okay (however use this information at your own risk – don’t come back to me if you fry your system.)

#4 Some Blade Servers Can Be Upgraded to New Processor Technology – prior to the Intel Xeon 5500, the CPU blade server motherboards were very similar.  It is possible, in some cases, to take a first generation blade server and put a fifth generation CPU inside.  I won’t say it will work with any manufacture blades, but it works with some…

#5 Service Requests Can Be Escalated Easily At Any Time – if you aren’t happy with the support you are getting, simply ask to escalate the ticket to the Support Manager on Duty.  Nine times out of ten you will happily get escalated. 

What do you think – am I right, am I wrong?  Are there others to add to the list?  If so, let me know in the comments below.

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13 thoughts on “5 Things Blade Server Manufacturers Won't Tell You

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  7. Anonymous

    Any information about IBM LS21 blades? Could one install there quad-core Shanghai or six-core Istanbul?

  8. Anonymous

    Any information about IBM LS21 blades? Could one install there quad-core Shanghai or six-core Istanbul?

  9. Tom G

    I asked question #1 to our Tech Services Rep with HP 6 weeks ago. Her answer to me was that unless a warranty upgrade was purchased for our c7000 blade enclosure, the modules themselves would only be covered under their standard warranty (one year for the Virtual Connect interconnect modules we use). Seems a little out of place since the enclosure standard warranty is three years.

    She continues by saying that when a care pack or warranty upgrade is purchased, the interconnect modules within the enclosure take on the warranty of the enclosure as long as it has not surpassed it’s end-of-support date which is typically 5 years after the final manufacture date.

    Our rep added the caveat that this info was all provided by the warranty help desk; are you privy to another source that suggests otherwise?

  10. David Watts

    You can only technically upgrade processors when the old and new processors are pin-compatible (like the current Xeon 5500 and 5600 processors). The AMD processors in the LS21 aren’t pin compatible with the current Shanghai or Istanbul procs (I don’t think). –David Watts, IBM.

  11. Anonymous

    I believe they all – Barcelona, Shanghai and Istanbul are Socket F and all are pin compatible. Most of common server boards can work with all versions if BIOS is kept updated by mnfct. Pehaps it depends greatly on chipset also – I don’t know.

  12. Anonymous

    I can confirm – with latest BIOS (v1.12) LS21 works with QuadCore barcelona. Tested with 1x Opteron 2358 SE.

    However, it does not work with Opteon Istanbul, tested with 1x Opteron 2419 EE.

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