Fujitsu's new Primergy BX400 S1 blade server is a complete data centre on wheels for SMBs. However, HP sells a very similar system, the c3000 Shorty. Is the new Primergy a match for the Shorty? Dave Mitchell finds out in our exclusive review.
Blade systems represent one of the fastest growing sectors in the global server market, but most are way beyond the financial means of SMBs. HP spotted this gap a while ago and launched its BladeSystem c3000 ‘Shorty’ to fill it. Fujitsu now follows suit with its new Primergy BX400 S1.
The BX400 S1 targets SMBs and remote offices that want to amalgamate all their IT services in a single, low maintenance system that’s easy to deploy and manage. It has plenty of expansion potential and is designed to work in normal office environments without the need for extra air conditioning or cooling.
Physically, the BX400 S1 is very similar to the c3000 - both are 6U high and built like tanks. The eight half-width server blade slots are accessed from the front and are arranged horizontally. The c3000 has vertical slots and accepts four full-height, eight half-height blades or a mixture of both.
The colour LCD display and control pad on the top panel are used to view the health status of the entire system and fire up a base installation wizard. This runs through chassis configuration, enabling management access and choosing a power management scheme.
The BX400 S1 supports up to four 1600W hot-plug supplies and each supply has an integral cooling fan. Noise levels are extremely low making so it's ideally suited to office deployments.
Server blade choices aren’t as broad as HP’s. Fujitsu has three Xeon-based server blades, whereas HP also has a number of AMD server options. The BX920 blade has two hot-swap SFF SAS/SATA disk bays at the front. To accommodate them the memory slot count has been reduced to nine so this model supports up to 144GB of DDR3 memory.
Chassis: 6U enclosure with eight half-width blade slots
Power: 2 x 1600W hot-plug supplies (max. 4)
Fans: 2 x hot-swap (max. 3)
Expansion: Four interconnect I/O module bays
Management: Fujitsu ServerView Dashboard, ServerView Suite software
Other: DVD+/-RW +/-DL, USB, Serial I/O module