Recently I met with Zac Cravens, Lead Mechanical Engineer for Dell OEM Solutions Product Group, to discuss some of the fascinating work he and his team has been working on based on customer requests. Along with several secret projects, he took some time let me film him discussing a really neat PowerEdge™ M610x Blade Server solution one customer asked us to work on. I was very intrigued as most custom OEM projects consist of modifications to Dell’s most popular Intel® Xeon® 1U and 2U rack mount servers.
As you can see from the video, the M610x blade server is designed with two PCIe slots originally intended for high performance GPGPU cards and high throughput interfaces for storage and communications not natively supported inside the blade chassis. This amazing high density blade server was of interest to a particular OEM Customer who wanted to utilize the density, performance and the all-in-one chassis integrated features of the blade platform while also massively increasing the local storage performance with SSDs (Solid State Drives). A standard blade server support two 2.5” Hard Disk Drives, but our customer’s solution requires more performance than two drives can provide. So, they asked us to find a way to get four additional SSDs attached to Dell’s top of the line RAID controller (PERC 700).
It was a monumental task for the OEM Product Engineering team, but they did it. Now the customer has a solution with two SSDs on the standard controller and four more SSDs on a high end RAID controller. This gives them the capacity and performance they need for their high performance solution.