I love using Dell blades in my organization. They are affordable and easy to work with, especially when it comes to cabling. However, when it comes to supporting some kinds of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), Dell’s blades have left a little to be desired.
For some VDI enablers, such as RemoteFX, additional graphics power is necessary. Most regular servers include minimal onboard graphics capability and in order to add extra graphics power, you need a PCI-E slot. While these slots are available in other form factors, such as tower and rack servers, Dell’s other blade options don’t include a lot in the way of graphics.
In order to address this deficiency, dell recently released the Dell PowerEdge M610x, a blade with two generation 2 PCI-E x16 slots. In addition, the Dell M610x supports up to two quad core Xeon processors, 192GB of RAM, two hard drives, and a whole lot of Ethernet and other I/O connectivity such as Fibre Channel and Infiniband. This particular blade server also sports additional power connectors just in case an adapter in one of the PCI-E slots requires extra power.
Of course, this PCI-E slot can be used for more than just graphics. Suppose you’d like to add external storage to a single blade. Now you can. Add a RAID adapter to the M610x, connect it to you external storage and you’re off and running.
In short, although the M610x takes up two slots in the M1000e chassis, it enables a blade server to take on the expansion possibilities found with blade and rack based servers while still maintaining the significant benefits of the blade architecture.