Fujitsu Primergy BX400 S1 review
A quiet datacenter on wheels for SMBs; it closely matches HP’s c3000 for features and build quality
Review Date: 29 Mar 2011
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £4,471 (£5,365 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Blade servers have always been beyond the budgets of SMBs, but Fujitsu’s Primergy BX400 S1 offers these businesses a compact and affordable datacenter in a box. HP set the ball rolling a while back with its BladeSystem c3000, codenamed Shorty; in this review we see whether Fujitsu’s alternative puts up a strong challenge.
The BX400 S1 is for offices looking to amalgamate IT services into a single system that’s easy to deploy, manage and maintain. It has plenty of expansion potential and is designed to work in normal office environments, without the need for extra air conditioning or cooling.
Physically, it’s similar to the c3000, in that both are 6U high and built like tanks. The BX4100 S1 has eight half-width server blade slots arranged horizontally and accessed from the front. The c3000’s slots are vertical, and it accepts four full-height or eight half-height blades, or a mixture of both.
The colour LCD panel and control pad on the Fujitsu’s top panel are used to view the health status of the entire system. They also control the installation wizard, which runs through chassis configuration, enabling management access and choosing a power management scheme.
While HP offers a number of AMD server options, Fujitsu has just three Xeon-based server blades. The BX920 has two hot-swap SFF SAS/SATA disk bays at the front, with nine memory slots for up to 144GB of DDR3 memory. The BX922 has two internal cold-swap SFF SATA drives and 12 DIMM sockets. Both of these blades have embedded four-port Gigabit Ethernet controllers.
The third option is the BX924, which has a dual-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet adapter and supports up to 288GB of memory. To make room for its 18 DIMM sockets, it has two SATA SSDs fitted in cut-outs in the processor heatsinks. This blade is aimed at virtualisation duties and, along with the SSDs, supports remote booting or loading a hypervisor from an internal USB flash module.
All server blades have a riser tray at their rear that accepts a pair of mezzanine cards. Fujitsu currently offers cards with Gigabit, 10-Gigabit, Brocade Fibre Channel and InfiniBand.
Fujitsu offers several storage blades. The single-slot SX940 is a four-bay, hot-swap model that uses a direct PCI Express connection via the chassis mid-plane to the server blade below it. The new SX960 is a double-height, ten-drive blade, and for local backup there’s the SX910 with its LTO tape drive.
Life is too short
So you compare this with a device which is over 3 years old! Is there a PCPro rule that you must include a link in a review, no matter how irrelevant?
By milliganp on 1 Apr 2011
Comparing the BX400 S1 with HP's c3000 is highly relevant. Fujitsu considers the c3000 as a direct competitor. It may have the same chassis as when launched but HP offers all the same server and connection blades for the c3000 as for its enterprise c7000 system.
That's the advantage of a well designed blade server chassis as it can be continually updated by using new server and connection blades as required.
By DaveMitchell on 2 Apr 2011
- Will the next Windows 8.1 update arrive next month?
- BT One Phone lets SMBs ditch landlines for mobiles
- Microsoft shows Modern apps running in desktop windows
- Apple and IBM buddy up for enterprise push
- Windows Phone 8.1 starts rolling out to Nokia phones
- Government broadband plans "lack ambition"
- SMBs get Office 365 price cuts, new plans
- Windows 7: you can keep it until 2020
- BlackBerry Passport's square for spreadsheets
- Microsoft to release six updates this Patch Tuesday
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- Five worst SMB security threats... and how to solve them
- Doing business in a social era
- How to configure SysLookup for your network
- The 18 best Outlook tips for increasing productivity: become an Outlook expert with these lesser-known tips
- Office: should you buy it, rent it - or dump it?
- Small server vs cloud: which is best for SMBs?
- The best mobile apps for business
- Windows XP: Microsoft’s ticking time bomb
- gTLDs: what your business should know about new domain names
- Can Microsoft survive? A look at servers and tools
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child