Blade Servers - Driving the standard

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Blade Servers:
Driving the standard                                                                              By Lin Nease and Craig Yamasaki

HP Blade Servers are a series of                   ■ Storage blades                                 add new capabilities from other vendors
CompactPCI-based dedicated servers                 ■ Ethernet switch blades and Fibre               without adding a different proprietary
and related peripherals that brings blade            Channel arbitrated loop and switch             solution and increases the chance of
technology to enterprise and service                 blades                                         incompatibilities. Many competitors are
provider customers, and at the same time           ■ Expansion I/O blades                           designing proprietary, ultra dense servers,
enhances the offerings to telcos. These            ■ Management blades                              but because of this density their servers
servers use an extension of the                                                                     are thermally limited to under-powered
CompactPCI specification called                    In effect, using HP Blade Servers will           processors and limited memory.
OpenBlade, which adds a dedicated                  allow service providers or enterprise cus-
management capability, including a port            tomers to bring new levels of density, flex-     The HP Blade Servers offer a third alter-
for a dedicated management LAN, as                 ibility, serviceability, manageability, and      native. By using the existing CompactPCI
well as Fibre Channel support for access           efficiency to their infrastructure, while        standard, plus some extensions, users can
to storage. The result provides great den-         gaining the security and technology inno-        gain the density benefit of blade servers,
sity, lower power consumption, easier              vation of a standards-based computing            while maintaining an industry-standard
management, and better performance                 environment.                                     environment. Users of HP Blade Servers
than previous CompactPCI-based sys-                                                                 can realize a gain of twice the computing
tems. The result for customers will be a           Edge and enterprise customers typically          resources for the same space requirements
lower TCO, greater flexibility better              need high performance computing and              when compared against a similar volume
security, and lower risk.                          storage services that can be accessed via        of 1U servers. In addition, these users will
                                                   the Internet or through an internal enter-       find that their demand for power and cool-
Hewlett-Packard’s launch of the blade              prise network or intranet. Servers are           ing is significantly less than a rack full of
servers provides an important new area of          expected to provide Web pages and                1U servers.
growth for the technology and for the              related data, as well as database access
CompactPCI standard. Our servers extend            and application services on demand. The          The OpenBlade specification
the existing CompactPCI standard, pro-             traffic demands on these servers can be          CompactPCI has historically addressed
vide a new standards-based line of prod-           quite heavy, and as Web and intranet             the needs of the communications and con-
ucts, and allow existing users of                  usage becomes more mission-critical, the         trol equipment world. In this value chain,
CompactPCI technologies to leverage                demand for data delivery and storage             equipment providers are the solution inte-
their hardware investment and expertise            grows accordingly.                               grators. They are essentially designing
while growing their capabilities. Soon, we                                                          hardware out of CompactPCI suppliers’
expect to see additional vendors joining to        Currently, edge, enterprise, and commer-         components.
create a wealth of new products meeting            cial users are faced with choosing
the CompactPCI standard.                           between 1U dedicated servers or propri-          OpenBlade is a specification based on
                                                   etary blade servers. The 1U dedicated            CompactPCI (both present and future), but
The new HP Blade Servers extend open               servers are relatively inexpensive and pro-      augments the specifications of Com-
standards-based CompactPCI blade server            vide good redundancy, can be added to the        pactPCI in order to address the critical
technology to new markets, including ser-          data center as needed and use familiar           needs of enterprise end-user customers.
vice providers, corporate and enterprise           technology. However, they are complex to         Enterprise customers need to use blades in
data centers, in addition to the more tradi-       manage, consume significant amounts of           a manner that is very different from equip-
tional carrier-grade markets. Because of           power and demand some physical access            ment-provider OEM customers.
the widely varying needs of these new              for troubleshooting, upgrading and main-
classes of users, and because of the               tenance.                                         The OpenBlade specification was de-
demand for increased performance among                                                              signed to enable rapid solution develop-
traditional users, HP’s Blade Servers are          Some early blade server offerings could          ment for customers. It is HP’s contention
available to meet a wide variety of                arguably make better use of floor space in       that blades offer a unique new economy in
requirements, and to meet several levels of        the data center than 1U servers, but they        system integration – an economy that can
performance demands.                               can still be complex to manage, and have         only be unleashed with an interoperable
                                                   the downside of being based on propri-           environment of complimentary products.
Especially exciting are the new types of           etary technology. This means that cus-           Only after whole solutions can be built out
CompactPCI blade servers that are now              tomers must make the decision to buy into        of interoperable blades will the promise of
available. These include:                          a specific company for a significant             blades be fulfilled.
                                                   amount of their computing needs.
■ Complete Web hosting appliance                   Proprietary technology also limits up-           However, in the enterprise computing
  blades                                           grade possibilities to only those offered by     world, solution integration is performed
■ General-purpose server blades                    their vendor. It eliminates the ability to       by IT personnel or systems integrators

Reprinted from CompactPCI Systems / April 2002                                                               Copyright CompactPCI Systems
who buy network computing products off-
the-shelf. The demand to mix and match
vendors’ offerings has created the need for
an extremely high level of interoperability.
Ethernet equipment is an example of what
a low-touch integrator or end-user cus-
tomer needs in terms of interoperability,
because Ethernet products of all types
interoperate reliably. Likewise, if blades
don’t possess a similar level of interoper-
ability and ubiquity, their advantages in
manageability, cost, and density will be

However, CompactPCI addresses a range
of issues that are not applicable to blades.
For example, the very specification
CompactPCI leverages, PCI, is a standard
for I/O adapters. The multitude of issues
associated with I/O bus layouts and sig-
naling are not central issues for blades.
Rather, the central issue for blades is
access to heterogeneous solutions. These
solutions include server blades (known in
CompactPCI as CPU blades), storage
blades, network switch blades, manage-
ment blades, appliance blades, and many
more. Thus, OpenBlade is really about
Ethernet and Fibre Channel – not PCI – to
enable interoperability and ubiquity.
                                                                                        Figure 1
OpenBlade augments CompactPCI by
enabling:                                      The changes to CompactPCI for the pro-         blade, an Ethernet switch blade, and
                                               posed OpenBlade specification allow            optional Fibre Channel blades. Each of
■ Interoperability akin to the Ethernet        interoperability between blades meeting        these blades includes all CompactPCI
  world                                        that specification and today’s CompactPCI      standard services, including power, signal-
■ Solution integration from commercial         specification. Because this specification is   ing, and network connections. In addition,
  building blocks, rather than OEM             well-known and thoroughly debugged, it         the extensions on HP Blade Servers
  components                                   opens the door for new manufacturers to        include Gigabit Ethernet (defined by
■ Enterprise data center capabilities          create new CompactPCI/OpenBlade prod-          PICMG 2.16), dual fibre channel and an
  such as Fibre channel and manage-            ucts. The result is more flexibility and       additional Ethernet management network.
  ment                                         greater opportunity for both manufacturers     These servers will work in existing blade
■ Strict focus on network-connected            and their customers. Integrators will be       enclosures with existing CompactPCI con-
  blades, rather than I/O adapters             more likely to use OpenBlade and Com-          nectors, but the extended services will not
                                               pactPCI products because they can be           be available in enclosures that do not sup-
The changes to the CompactPCI specifi-         assured that their solutions will work and     port the OpenBlade extensions. Likewise,
cation required to become OpenBlade            be widely supported. Customers can be          existing blades will work in the HP Blade
compliant are minimal. Starting from           assured that they won’t be stranded by sin-    Server chassis. The details of the exten-
CompactPCI 2.16, OpenBlade’s manage-           gle-vendor specifications that go away         sions will be discussed below in the sec-
ment and storage pinouts are derived from      when the vendor changes its marketing          tion on the OpenBlade specification.
the H.110 TDM bus pin-out, but the pins        plans or goes out of business.
assigned to -48VDC signaling have been                                                        The HP Blade Server bc1100 (Figures 3
changed to ground. The remaining pins,         The new capabilities of the OpenBlade          and 4) is the initial server product and is a
which are used for the two Fibre Channel       specification can result in products that      complete server with a processor, memory,
loops and the management LAN use pre-          are more useful to a broader set of cus-       disk storage, and network connections
viously unpopulated pins.                      tomers. For example, the management            included. This blade is designed to mount
                                               support designed into HP’s Blade Servers       in the HP Blade Server bh7800 chassis,
The diagram in Figure 1 shows that the         means that customers can manage their          which will hold up to 16 blade servers.
changes to the existing CompactPCI             networks centrally, rather than having         HP’s blade server solution currently sup-
pinout specification take place exclusively    large numbers of on-site technicians con-      ports the Intel Pentium III processors run-
in the P4 / J4 combination. The detailed       stantly looking at each dedicated server.      ning the Linux operating system. The three
pinout chart in Figure 2 shows the changes                                                    distributions of Linux currently supported
in the existing specification, and the pin     HP Blade Servers and peripherals               are: Debian 2.2r3 kernel 2.2.19; Red Hat
locations for the new communications           HP Blade Server suite includes server          7.0 kernel 2.2.16; or SuSE 7.1 kernel 2.4.0.
requirements.                                  blades, storage blades, a management           HP Blade Servers will, in the future, be

Reprinted from CompactPCI Systems / April 2002                                                        Copyright CompactPCI Systems
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available with the PA-RISC processor and         the mid-plane, thus significantly reducing
Intel’s Itanium processor family. HP-UX          the cabling complexity associated with
and Microsoft Windows will also be sup-          three LANs per server. In addition, the HP
ported in the future.                            Blade Server solution will support IDE,
                                                 SCSI, and FC. At initial release the server
The HP Blade Server bc1100 currently             blades will have access to local storage
uses a 700 MHz Intel Pentium III proces-         through the embedded IDE hard disk on
sor. The blades each come with 512               the server blade itself and by pairing the
Mbytes of ECC PC100 memory and a 30              server blade with an optional storage
Gbyte IDE hard disk. Both PICMG 2.16             blade with two IDE hard disks for addi-
10/100 Ethernet ports are supported. The         tional storage. The dual Fibre Channel
blade is CompactPCI hot-swap level 3             interfaces also routed through the mid-
compliant and it supports SNMP. For              plane are enabled by an FC-AL SAN
legacy users, each of these server blades        blade (which creates a standard FC arbi-
supports two USB ports, an RS-232 port           trated loop storage area network), or a
and an SVGA port. As a part of the               Fibre Channel switch blade (which would
extended CompactPCI specification, each          create switched fabric to each server slot
blade also includes an additional Ethernet       in the chassis).
port intended for out of band management
as preferred in xSP, corporate, and enter-       The lower ejector handle on each blade ini-
prise data centers.                              tiates a power-down cycle to allow safe
                                                 removal and replacement in a running
Any of these operating systems can use           chassis. In this manner, which is compliant
the standard Ethernet connections through        with the PICMG 2.1 standard, the blade

                                                                                                   Figure 3. HP Blade Server

                                                                                                   Figure 4. Connector pins for the
                                                                                                   HP Blade Server bc1100

                                                                                               can shut down safely, while also notifying
                                                                                               the Network Operations Center (NOC)
                                                                                               that the blade is being removed. This func-
                                                                                               tion can also be initiated at the NOC. Each
                                       Figure 2                                                blade includes environmental sensors that

Reprinted from CompactPCI Systems / April 2002                                                            Copyright CompactPCI Systems
communicate with the management blade          provides access to the management con-          can track and restore a blade’s manage-
which, in turn, controls fan speeds, slot      soles of each installed server blades. This     ment IP address when it’s been hot-
power, etc., and which can alert the NOC       blade provides consolidated management          swapped. The management blade moni-
of abnormal conditions or events. This         of the chassis, all installed blades, as well   tors all chassis functions including
combination of features means that blades      as event reporting, configuration manage-       individual blade logs, power utilization
are less likely to suffer environmental        ment, and hot-swap control. The Man-            and compliance, and thermal compliance.
faults, and are easier to service.             agement Blade is designed to use the            The management blade can also increase
                                               third, out of band management port in the       the fan speeds when over-temperature
Because of its ability to function as an       OpenBlade specification. However, the           conditions arise and return them to normal
independent, dedicated server, as well as      management LAN connection from the              when appropriate. All of the management
to exist in a high-performance Gigabit         Management Blade can also be connected          data can be reported to management utili-
Ethernet or SAN environment, the HP            via the Network Switch Blade to the two         ties using SNMP, or to network managers
Blade Server is an ideal solution for com-     production LANs if “payload” traffic            such as HP Toptools or HP OpenView.
panies that need a high-density solution.      doesn’t need to be separated from the           Although central to the infrastructure, the
The bc1100 exceeds the demands of com-         management traffic.                             individual blades and remaining infra-
panies with space constraints and power                                                        structure will continue to operate in the
needs by meeting those needs and also          The HP Blade Server bh7800                      event of a management blade failure,
delivering high levels of manageability        chassis                                         which can also be hot-swapped.
and flexibility. A future two slot-wide, two   The HP Blade Server bh7800 is a unique
way IA-32 blade will utilize the 100 watts     solution for the service provider or the        The HP Blade Server bh3700 Chassis is a
available to obtain the highest perfor-        enterprise. The unprecedented density, the      NEBS-compliant chassis that shares many
mance and flexibility to meet the demands      efficient power use, and the vast simplifi-     characteristics with the bh7800. It also sup-
of the enterprise customers while improv-      cation of the cabling plant can reduce per-     ports the OpenBlade specification, and
ing their manageability of servers. The        sonnel costs, increase staff efficiency, and    supports enhanced capabilities, including
key to this manageability and flexibility      allow customers to build larger, more           Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel. How-
are the PICMG standards, the OpenBlade         capable data centers without having to          ever, the bh3700 is a 10 slot, 6U single
extensions to the CompactPCI standard as       build more space, or even install more          sided enclosure designed more for the tra-
well as the FC and management blades           power (see Figure 5).                           ditional carrier installation than for the
that enhance the HP Blade Server offer-                                                        enterprise or service provider. But because
ings so that customers can get a more          The bh7800 chassis is designed to be a          the bh3700 is capable of sharing many of
complete server solution.                      NEBS-compliant 13U enclosure that has           the blades as the bh7800, HP will leverage
                                               38 slots, of which up to 16 can be Server       the volumes and best in class of both busi-
The HP Network Switch Blade is func-           Blades. It includes N+1 hot-swap power          nesses thus providing customers with a
tionally identical to the HP Procurve          supplies, fans and power line inputs, and       lower total cost of ownership. The most
2524. This blade will support up to 16         it has local front and rear display panels      important difference between the two chas-
10/100 Ethernet ports through the mid-         and keypads.                                    sis is that the bh3700 has an I/O backplane,
plane. Two Network Switch Blades are                                                           while the bh7800 does not. The bh7800 can
required to support two Ethernet ports per     The bh7800’s unique two-sided enclosure         only accommodate Ethernet or Fibre
server (one switch blade is required; a        allows customers to access the enclosure        Channel connectivity between blades.
second is available for redundancy). In        and insert blades from either the front or
addition to the 16 mid-plane ports, this       back. This enclosure eliminated the tradi-      Of course, the single most important fea-
blade includes eight external 10/100           tional rear transition modules, instead         ture of the HP Blade Server bh7800 is the
Ethernet ports for communications with         employing a mid-plane design that allows        CompactPCI standard. More important,
external network devices, and a Gigabit        full-height 6U blades to be inserted from       it’s the only blade standard that has
Ethernet uplink port. This is a layer 2        either end. The mid-plane is not a shared       momentum and an existing community of
managed switch with VLAN support.              PCI bus topology where the PCI signals          vendors, designers, and suppliers.
                                               are delivered to each slot. Using through
The HP Fibre Channel SAN Blade is              hole technology for the pins in the mid-        Equally important, using the CompactPCI
inserted into a patented 3U carrier/slot on    plane, the PCI bus for a given server is        standard for HP Blade Servers means that
the mid-plane. When two 3U FC SAN              dedicated to the I/O expansion slot that is     other vendors can take advantage of the
blades are mounted on the 6U carrier, two      directly opposite the server from the mid-      features of the HP blades and provide
Fibre Channel ports are enabled to each        plane. Furthermore, server slots alternate      additional capabilities, services and fea-
server blade. The FC-AL blade creates an       from front to rear on adjacent slots, allow-    tures. In today’s marketplace, no single
arbitrated loop within the mid-plane, and      ing for a maximum number of two slot            company can do everything, and with its
two FC-AL blades create two arbitrated         wide high performance server blades.            CompactPCI-based blade servers, HP
loops. Likewise, the FC Switch blade           (Each server blade is its own independent       opens a wealth of potential applications to
would enable switched FC fabric to each        server on a card, making it possible to mix     its customers.
server blade, and two of these blades          and match blades in the chassis, i.e., IA-
would allow for two switched FC inter-         32, PA-RISC, and IPF.)                          The result is that customers will have the
faces. Both FC blades have interfaces that                                                     opportunity to select the products they
allow for connections to external FC           This enclosure also contains a manage-          need to meet their requirements, regard-
switches and/or storage devices.               ment blade, which has many important            less of whether those products come from
                                               cost-saving features, including inventory       HP. CompactPCI helps assure customers
The HP Management Blade supervises             management down to serial numbers, and          that they will have a consistent upgrade
the operations of the bh7800 chassis and       configuration management capability that        path, either to more performance, or as

Reprinted from CompactPCI Systems / April 2002                                                         Copyright CompactPCI Systems
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                                                   to the public, and where the internal opera-   Because of the level of control, and the
                                                   tions of the OS can never be exposed. This     security provided by the separate manage-
                                                   results in a much more secure network than     ment LAN, customers can manage and
                                                   can ever exist where management must           control nearly every aspect of the opera-
                                                   take place over the production network.        tion of these devices. This means that
                                                                                                  physical access to the blade servers is only
                                                   The functions of the HP Management             necessary for physical events, such as the
                                                   Blade are as follows:                          hot-swap of a blade. In addition, because
                                                                                                  the management blade is tracking errors
                                                   ■ Supervises the operation of other            as well as operations, intervention can
                                                     components in the chassis, including         take place as soon as an error is detected,
                                                     power and cooling, and the status of         meaning that server uptime is enhanced.
                                                     installed blades
                                                   ■ Reports failures to the central man-         HP Blade Server Alliance Program
                                                     agement system                               Because the OpenBlade specification is
                                                   ■ Provides switching for access to the         designed to allow other vendors to create
                                                     console management for the manage-           blades that will interoperate with HP
                                                     ment blade and the processor blades          Blade Servers, HP created the HP Blade
                                                   ■ Provides initial boot configuration for      Server Alliance Program to encourage and
                                                     the chassis                                  assist companies that want to enter this
                                                   ■ Provides configuration for the               exciting market.
 Figure 5. Three fully configured                    network blades
 HP Blade Server bh7800                            ■ Keeps an inventory of the network            The program includes a set of services
 Chassis in a rack                                   blades                                       that facilitates the integration of products
                                                   ■ Brings up, shuts down, and restarts          on the HP Blade Server platform. This
                                                     blades                                       program will accelerate market accep-
solutions to problems and needs that don’t         ■ Consolidates events from installed           tance of blade servers by speeding up
currently exist. As a result, basing the HP          blade servers and transmits them to          blade development, increasing reach to
Blade Servers on CompactPCI means that               the management application                   customers through HP’s partners and pro-
there will be an assured path to innova-           ■ Controls indicator lights for each           mote customer confidence in the interop-
tion, which is absent in a proprietary envi-         blade, making faulty blades easy to          erability of their blade solutions.
ronment.                                             locate in the enclosure
                                                                                                  Services offered to partners through this
These advantages, of course, mean that             Each blade server includes a management        program include hardware and software
the risk of adopting a blade server solution       controller that communicates with the          development kits, a hardware and soft-
is reduced, as is the total cost of owner-         management blade. This controller, which       ware certification program, events and
ship. Likewise, new products will appear           exists on a daughter board installed on        partner communication, joint marketing
sooner, innovations will happen more               each bc1100, provides console access and       activities and promotional services.
quickly, and owners will have greater flex-        remote management functions. This
ibility, and the comfort of knowing that           remote management circuit (RMC) pro-           The future of HP’s Blade Servers
they have an industry-standard solution.           vides specific management information          The HP Blade Server offering available
                                                   directly to the management LAN. The            today is just the beginning. The roadmap
HP Blade Server management                         RMC provides:                                  includes a Fibre Channel switch, blades
The HP Management Blade is the central                                                            with PA-RISC and IPF processors, sup-
component for managing the HP Blade                ■ Text mode VGA access over the LAN            port for Microsoft Windows and HP-UX
Server bh7800 Chassis. This blade is               ■ Telnet access to the console                 as well as dual-and quad-processor
designed to communicate with the central           ■ Firmware update access                       blades.
management station using a separate man-           ■ Remote on and off through
agement LAN, to which all of the other               CompactPCI hot-swap support                  Summary
HP Blade Servers are also connected.               ■ Remote reset and reboot                      HP’s Blade Servers are an important new
While this management LAN can be                                                                  development for both the blade server mar-
interconnected to the primary “payload”            The information gathered by the HP             ket and the CompactPCI industry. The
LAN through a switch or router, the                Remote Management Blade is made avail-         arrival of standards for blade servers is a
design is intended to allow management             able to management applications, such as       critical step for their broad acceptance in
traffic to remain separate.                        HP’s Toptools, and to management frame-        the service provider and enterprise markets,
                                                   works, such as HP OpenView. Either of          and it’s an important step in bringing new
The management LAN provides access to              these packages provides a centralized          capabilities to carriers in a form that’s com-
the management circuitry built into each           management solution that will monitor          patible with their existing infrastructure.
HP Blade Server. In addition, it allows            every blade server, the chassis, and in the
management of the operating system,                case of HP OpenView, the operating sys-        The OpenBlade specification will help
which is especially important in applica-          tem running on each blade server.              ensure the growth of CompactPCI, and of
tions where the “payload” LANs are open                                                           blade servers, because it will provide an

Reprinted from CompactPCI Systems / April 2002                                                             Copyright CompactPCI Systems
interoperability path for vendors and help                            Craig Yamasaki is
ease the way for integrators and IT depart-                           Product Planning
ments. In the meantime, the HP Blade                                  Manager for HP’s
Servers bring lower costs, better perfor-                             blades. He is char-
mance, greater security, and lower risk to                            tered to leverage
customers.                                                            HP’s vast experience
                                                                      with Windows,
The ability to leverage the advantages of                             Linux, and UNIX
blade servers while also providing easy          servers to lead the definition of HP’s
access to the rest of the enterprise through     Blade Server strategy. Craig has been
industry standard storage solutions and          with HP for 16 years, primarily in hard-
management simply enhances the fact              ware R&D, but also in support, software
that both the vendors and the customers          R&D, and marketing.
will win.
                                                 For more information, contact Craig at:
Lin Nease is chief technologist for HP’s
UNIX server business. He is responsible          Craig Yamasaki
for leading the commercial server busi-          Hewlett-Packard
ness product portfolio process as well as        8000 Foothill Blvd. mailstop 5596
the technology strategy. Lin has been            Roseville, CA 95747
with HP for 15 years, primarily in R&D,          E-mail:
but also in marketing and business strat-        Web site:

For more information, Contact Lin at:

Lin Nease
8000 Foothills Blvd., mailstop 5602
Roseville, CA 95747

 GNP demonstrates Intel-based blade architecture is                      ity applications. However, the blade configuration is ideal for core
 ready for high-availability applications                                network applications with high-reliability requirements.
 By Bruce Rostowfske
                                                                         GNP’s patent-pending Natural Clustering Technology, embed-
 System manufacturers are touting a new type of server architec-         ded in the Continuant middleware, keeps all nodes active and
 ture called blade. Blade is a low-cost, low-power design that lets      responsible for work distribution in an N+k configuration, where
 engineers fit hundreds of densely-packed computers into a stan-         N is the number of blades required to maintain a desired perfor-
 dard rack by optimizing the available processing power of DSP           mance level and k is the built-in reliability level. When in a blade
 and I/O boards. In addition to eliminating space needed for tra-        environment, the middleware communicates between the appli-
 ditional separate host CPU and I/O boards, this super-slim server       cation and the hardware framework, including OS and drivers,
 architecture enables multi-node clusters. For those applications        thus ensuring 99.999 percent uptime. Blade is a comprehensive
 that require scalability of processing power and I/O, blade is the      operations framework that automates routine HA functions and
 next-generation architecture alternative.                               provides out-of-band remote control and maintenance.

 GNP has demonstrated the effectiveness of blade’s low-                  Blades are modular, scalable, low-power, low-cost computers,
 power/high-density design in a carrier-class telecommunication          and GNP’s demonstration proves that this architecture can func-
 application powered by four Intel StrongARM-based computers.            tion as part of a high-density server farm. When combined with
 By loading its high-availability middleware, Continuant Cluster         effective clustering middleware and powerful embedded com-
 Suite, directly onto Intel’s integrated 32-bit StrongARM SA-            munications technologies like CompactPCI Packet Switched
 1110 I/O processing boards, GNP eliminated the need for system          Backplane (cPSB), blade boards will emerge as a standard net-
 slot processors and provided a clustered platform for natural load-     work application design. Whether as the primary application in
 balancing. In a clustered blade configuration, these low-power          a server farm, or one of many, blades support scalable high-
 processors support administration and application operations so         availability applications for optimized computing power in lim-
 that the system integrator does not need to design in a high-avail-     ited space.
 ability dual-host server to support other I/O computers.
                                                                         For more information, contact:
 Continuant Cluster Suite is ideal for implementing blade architec-
 tures for core network applications due to its combination of five-     GNP Computers
 nines availability and scalability. Blades are commonly used to         555 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, CA 91016
 power applications running at the edge of a network, and are there-     Tel: 626-305-8484 • Fax: 626-305-9177
 fore not the standard default server architecture for high-availabil-   Web site:

Reprinted from CompactPCI Systems / April 2002                                                            Copyright CompactPCI Systems