markman: it sounds like you are writing the output spec for BSF in your authority. If this is the case, as far as I am aware you cannot specify technologies. For example all rooms to be cabled with cat6. You can only state what you would like to be able to achieve with said equipment. Hence the term output spec.
I wouldn't take any chances, i'd order a blade system based on future requirements now, becuase one or two blade vendors have previous when it comes to discontinuing compatible blades for older chassis. You don't want to buy a blade chassis and worry about not being able to get new modules and servers.
SAN would defintely be on the shopping list also. And scalable NAS or a NAS gateway to connect to the SAN storage. And get all the licensing you need for the SAN as you'd get discounts off inital purchase that might not be available late on. If your going to do it from scratch might aswell do it right.
You can make a case for every area.......UPS and aircon are also crucial.
I bought Blades and it was the worst thing I ever did... Far better (if you have space) to buy big boxes and virtualise the server software so you can move it to a different big box when that one gets to old/fails etc. Blade chassis mean you have to buy from the same supplier who then discontinues that model and your stuffed
The argument for going with one big box is a good one mind you......there's a school of thought that says a big four socket box is better than blades for virtualization.......but seeing as you can get dual and quad socket blades i don't see why blades aren't equally as good for virtualization.
The thing with blades is you'd want reduancy of all components so that you've got that protection that will allow you to carry on managing the box if a mgmt module, I/O module or power supply goes down. For me the biggest plus point is reducing the amount of cables in the back of the rack to manage....if you've got a SAN you've got a lot of cables and external switches to manage with even a modest number of rack mounted servers. With blades it's aggregtion in a box....that can be handy.
I'd still keep a 2 socket box or two lying around for DR.....not confident enough to put all eggs in the blade basket just yet. They can't match big unix iron for RAS....maybe one day.
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