HP finally came out with the official information on the heavy duty blade for use in VMware environments. This blade for the c-Chassis is the BL495c which has 16 slots for Memory DIMMs and two AMD Opteron processors. Its the official Virtualization Blade.

There's just a couple of gotchas here coming from someone that would like to use them:

  • It comes with 2 10Gb builtin ethernet connections. There's no interconnect module right now that can use this other than the pass thru. Well if your going to use an interconnect pass thru the whole purpose of blades for being able to reduce cabling and simplify management. You might as well just use rack mounts as they give you more flexiblity and control and your just buying what you need.
  • It has the option of coming with SSD drives. If your doing serious virtualization the last thing you need in a physical instance is anything that ties you to that physical instance. The SSD is a short term solution and I don't care if its faster (that's the big deal with SSD Drives - faster). The future for serious virtualization solutions is zero ties to the hardware all served out from a central system. Personally I think PXE is going to be the answer to this issue.
  • There's no support listed for VMware ESX in the support pages. I thought HP was a huge VMware Partner? Easily the single largest Server Virtualization Vendor in the business and you don't support it though you have Marketing statements like "the world's first virtualization blade"?

I think the HP BL495c has the potential to be a fantastic product to use since this is a half height blade so you can get 16 blades in 10U of rack space. There's just a couple of gotchas right now.