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Dell Blade Server vs SUN Blade Server



Queries the following Comparison is trying to Answer:


Dell Blades ( M905 & M805 & M605 & M600 ) VS SUN Blades ( X6200 & T6300 & X6400 & X8400)  

PowerEdge M1000e  VS SUN Blade 6000 & SUN Blade 8000

How does Dell Blades compare to SUN Blades?

Advantages & Disadvantages of SUN & Dell Chassis & Blades

What is better SUN Blades or Dell Blades? How?

Independent Unbiased Comparison SUN Blades & Dell Blades


SUN Blades VS Dell Blades Introduction:


If you have reached this page you are more probably already decided on using Blades, but still can't solve the puzzle of which Vendor to go with. As many vendors are highly competing to your blade purchase we had put many blades comparison on our site. In this Comparison we are comparing Dell PowerEdge M1000e Chassis & SUN Blades 6000 & 8000 from an independent point of view. Other Blades comparisons can be reached from the menu on the left side.



Dell Blades     

SUN Blades
Chassis flexibility

PowerEdge 1955

PowerEdge M1000e

SUN Blade 6000

SUN Blade 8000

ITComparison Team Comments

Dell Blades vs SUN Blades

Dell had offered two Chassis PowerEdge 1955 & PowerEdge M1000e. Their latest is M1000e which is their only available offering at the moment. In the other hand, SUN offer two different Chassis SUN Blade 6000 & SUN Blade 8000. Both SUN & Dell have no compatibilities across their chassis. You can't use modules & Blades across SUN 6000 & SUN 8000, as well you can't use Blades & Modules from Dell older chassis into their M1000e chassis.
Blade server flexibility

Intel Xeon, AMD Opteron.

Intel Xeon, AMD Opteron, SPARC

ITComparison Team Comments Both Dell & SUN are offering AMD & Intel Blades. In the Unix side  SUN Offer SPARC Blades, where Dell has no offering equivalent offering.



Full Height



Fully Redundant



Blades w/ hotswap HDD per chassis


Fully Redundant Blades w/ hotswap HDD













































ITComparison Team Comments


SUN Blades vs Dell Blades

It seems SUN has only succeeded in fitting 10 Blades in 10 U chassis which makes it lower Density than Dell Chassis if you use a half height blades.  We call SUN & Dell Full Height Blades semi-redundant blades as they are not fully redundant as explained under the redundancy comparison.

- SUN Density is very low for a blade solution as they are not doing any better than 1U servers. Fitting 10 Blades in 10 U enclosure that is 1U per Blade which could be easily matched with rack mounted servers.

Redundancy - Single power connections to each blade 



- Single I/O paths for Certain I/O slots on most of their blades

- Single power connections to each blade 

- Single I/O paths for Certain I/O slots on most of their blades

ITComparison Team Comments Both Dell & SUN seems to miss the same redundancy points in their design.
Hot Swap HDD


Solid State Drives (SSD)

No need for expansion unit which save space




Not Available

No need for expansion unit which save space



Not Available

ITComparison Team Comments Both SUN & Dell does not require an expansion to fit hotswap HDDs, further more both does not offer solid stat drives yet.
Illuminated path to blade components

Dell offer diagnostics LEDs beside some components, but will not led without power.

Sun does not offer any equivalent.

ITComparison Team Comments Better and faster serviceability in the Dell Blades with the ability to pinpoint the problem using diagnostics LEDs, which is not offered at all by SUN. Though it would be nice if  Dell had a backup battery in its blade to get the LEDs to work when taken out for maintenance.
Event identification

Nothing Equivalent.

Nothing Equivalent

ITComparison Team Comments Neither Dell nor SUN offer Event identification system which would provide a better  non over-lapping error reporting through their Management solution which help in resolving cascaded problems faster.

Dell Offer internal switches in addition to their passthru offering for most kind of connectivity available in the market today  (Ethernet, Fiber Channel, 10GB Ethernet , and InfiniBand). As well they offer it from multiple vendors for some connectivity type.

Sun only offer Pass-thru modules for all connectivity types, no internal switches at all.

ITComparison Team Comments SUN fail to integrate any switches into their offering, which make their blades offering not any better than 1U servers offering. As they are already packaging max of 10 blades in 10U Chassis, so no space saving. Further more, they force you to use further space for external switches. In addition, you don't get rid of all the nasty network & Fiber cables between the chassis & the switches.

In the other hand, Dell Blades can fit up to 16 Blades in 10 U Chassis which save you on space. Further more they allow you to fit some of  your required switches in the chassis saving you further on space & cabling. It even look a lot smoother when getting rid of the 100's of cables connecting the servers to the switches in the case of 1Us server & SUN Blades.

Important note: That Dell offering for some connectivity switches are only unmanaged (e.g: Inifiniband), though that still a lot better than not offering it at all. Further more, Dell still stuck with pass-thrus for some type of connectivity.

Blade deployment and redeployment

No Equivelant

No Equivelant

ITComparison Team Comments


SUN Blades vs Dell Blades

Virtual Connect & Open Fabric Manager from HP & IBM provide automatic failover for failing blade to another blade using boot from SAN functionality. In addition, it removes all the work involved in replacing a failing blade.

SUN & Dell Does not offer anything equivalent to HP Virtual Connect & IBM BOFM & will require the admin to reconfigure the SAN Zoning & the network VLANs  when replacing any blade wasting precious time & increase the downtime required to replace a blade.

Built-in Central Management Module  Almost  N/A
ITComparison Team Comments

Dell  Blades vs SUN Blades

Dell user Chassis Management Controller (CMC) which seems to mainly offer monitoring & log readings is very similar to the management module offered by HP, not much of a centralized management. Dell still more dependant on directly managing a blade by blade connecting directly to the iDRAC chip placed into each blade,

SUN Blades does not offer any equivalent to Dell Management Module. They only offer direct server management, which in turn means you still have to manage your blades as a normal rack server, not as a blade infrastructure.

Efficient utilization of available power resources


Dell Power Manager



ITComparison Team Comments


Dell Blades vs SUN Blades

Dell Power Manager can monitor power per blade & Chassis, but not per modules.

Dell Power Manager does not seems to be integration ready with other monitoring solutions.

Dell only offer a hard threshold which can cause operations problems.

SUN has no equivalent offering at the moment.

Unpacking Offering Delivered fully assembled (by Default) Assembled at customer site (Default)

Fully Installed (Charge apply)

ITComparison Team Comments Dell had made a great deal of them delivering their blades fully assembled & ready to power on and not having to assemble it at customers site. Although this definitely can save customers time, it can't be the main selling point for a blade offering. As SUN has a similar offering, but they explicitly charge for it where dell had implicitly accounted for it in each chassis delivered.
Investment Protection Each Chassis is a fully different game. Each Chassis is a fully different game.
ITComparison Team Comments Both SUN & Dell Chassis have no interopobility with their earlier offering. When upgrading between Dell or SUN chassis you would have to get rid of your old blades & modules & replace them with new compatible ones, which can be a huge waste of investment. In addition, both vendors have no word on if that is going to hold for their next offering.


Other Related Comparisons:


   IBM Blade Server vs HP Blade Server 

   IBM Blade Server vs Dell Blade Server

   IBM Blade Server vs SUN Blade Server

   HP Blade Server  vs Dell Blade Server

   HP Bade Server   vs SUN Blade Server

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