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F.I.T. Aviation Chooses Blade Enclosures Over Rack-Mounted Servers
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F.I.T. Aviation’s IT team (from left): Hilary Schrey, Michaela Sarver, Dan Parnell and Richard Donaldson.

Ben Van Hook

F.I.T. Aviation Chooses Blade Enclosures Over Rack-Mounted Servers

Blades will cost less to replace and require less power.

posted May 7, 2012  |  Appears in the Spring 2012 issue of EdTech Magazine.

When F.I.T. Aviation needed a new server array for its data center, Systems Administrator Hilary Schrey was sure he wanted to trade in the company's rack-mounted, full-size servers for blade enclosures.

"With rack-mounts, you have wiring hassles that are eliminated with blade enclosures," he says. "The blades consume less power and cost less to replace."

Because all cabling goes through the chassis, individual blade servers can be moved from chassis to chassis to balance or reconfigure the system without necessitating any rewiring, Schrey says.

More specifically, the Cisco B250 M2 Extended Memory blades that F.I.T. Aviation selected were a major selling point for the Cisco UCS system, says Schrey. The B250s with a Cisco RAM switch provide large capacity and lightning-fast processing because they can be loaded with up to 384 gigabytes of RAM using standard 8GB RAM sticks at 1333 megahertz. Most other servers with that much RAM capacity require users to use much more expensive 16GB or 32GB RAM sticks.

"That's a huge cost savings for virtualization," says Schrey. "The unified fabric of the UCS started the light bulb flickering in my head, but the RAM switch turned it on full blast. I knew this was the technology I wanted for us."

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