Call me stupid, but is it possible to use an IBM BladeCenter HS20 server as a standalone unit without the BladeCenter?


You can't run a blade server without the chassis, the connector is proprietary and replicating all the network and power hardware would be an encumbering task, as MikeyB suggests getting a BladeCenter S chassis will suit your needs perfectly.


Possibly, but you'll need a way to connect power to the server outside of the BladeCenter (power connections are normally provided by the BladeCenter), and you may run into problems with cooling when you try to do this (active cooling is generally provided by a series of blowers in the BladeCenter).

You'll also lose some of the redundancies that are provided by the chassis, and not built into the actual server. This may not be a problem for bench testing or configuration, but deploying a production server like this would defeat much of the purpose of specialized server hardware.

In short, I wouldn't recommend it. Get a 1U server that's not designed as a blade.

  • 1
    Alright... I'm confused I'm on Ebay looking for some cheap servers... I'm looking at a IBM HS20 bladeserver... it's $39.99... but then theres also this IBM, BladeCenter, HS20, 8832, 3.2 GHz RAID Server. So would the HS20 bladeserver go into the IBM bladecenter? – Noah Brainey Dec 29 '10 at 0:40
  • @Noah: You'll probably have to show me a link... Buying off of eBay can be tricky if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, and some sellers are (whether intentionally or not) deceptive with their auction listings. In general, I don't recommend that you buy a blade server if you're inexperienced with server hardware. Get a regular 1U unit. – Cody Gray Dec 29 '10 at 0:42
  • Wait is a 1U unit a one in all, not chassis needed server made by IBM!? – Noah Brainey Dec 29 '10 at 0:45
  • @Noah: Actually, 1U refers to the size. Since you were looking at blade servers, I assumed small/thin was important to you. The regular kind of servers are called rack servers (or rack-mounted) because they're designed to slide into a server rack. That's similar to a blade center, but each unit can function stand-alone without any dependencies on the rack. If you're set on an IBM, check out the System x or eServer series. – Cody Gray Dec 29 '10 at 0:47
  • I belive I found a 1U unit... let me know if it is before I buy it though. cgi.ebay.com/IBM-Xseries-305-P4-3-06Ghz-1GBRam-40GB-Server-1U-/… – Noah Brainey Dec 29 '10 at 0:48

No, this is not possible.

However, if you'd really like to use it, look at the BladeCenter S. It's the smallest chassis you can get and it's designed for office space (i.e. it's quiet).

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