What Is a Blade Server?

HP's blade systems (like this loaded c3000) make up half the market today

In the server space, one of the biggest shifts was the form factor of the servers: From tower to rack-mount to blades. But what makes a blade server anyway? Let’s consider this for a moment, as we watch another shift in progress.

Where Did Blade Servers Come From?

The RLX Technologies ServerBlade, introduced in 2001, is widely regarded as the first modern blade server

Most folks credit RLX Technologies with inventing the modern blade system, but the history of this technology began well before RLX was founded. Companies like Egenera, Cubix, and Sun were influential in the history of blade servers as well.

Reminiscing About the Cubix ERS, My First Bladed Server System

This is the Cubix ERS as I found it on the shelves at Weird Stuff

The Cubix ERS/FT was a great little system at the time. It really improved availability and performance of my cc:Mail system and cleaned up the data center at the same time. Although not quite as flexible as a modern blade server system, the Cubix ERS should go down in history as a worthy predecessor.