HP’s BL2x220c G5 Server Blade contains two servers in a single half-height blade. Obviously, this equates to twice as many servers in the same physical space. HP have managed this by sharing the I/O bandwidth, but for the bulk of applications that shouldn’t be an issue (mezzanines are available for Fibre Channel, Infiniband, or additional Ethernet, just in case you need to know).
If you count the numbers, each server node can hold up to two quad core processors, giving eight cores per node or 16 per blade. Of the two enclosures the c3000 holds 8 blades (thus 128 cores) and the c7000 holds 16 blades (thus 256 cores). The c7000 is 10u and the c3000 is 6u. You can either fit four c7000s, or three c7000s and two c3000s in a 42u rack. Either way, you’ve got 1024 Xeon cores simmering away in a small amount of floor space. If you’ve bothered to read this paragraph you’ll now probably be wistfully remembering the days when that sort of computing power took up an entire floor of a building and caused power sags in nearby factories.
HP state that the blade is optimised for power efficiency, which should also help ease your Corporate Social Responsibility conscience. But these blades also promise to be the bee’s knees for compute-intensive high-density applications such as grids, web server farms, and, our personal favourite, render farms. Blades should be available (we’re told) in a month or so.