Does anyone here have any experiences with the SM DatacenterBlade's actual power consumption? Would you say that the cost savings on a recurring basis by going with the blade system outweigh the higher initial capital required as compared to 1U systems?
I'm looking specifically at the 14 processor blade density SBE-714E model.
There really isn't much cost savings from the blades vs 1u unless space is at a premium.
The blades basically is a 0.5u equivalent system with shared power supply. It allows you to cram 84 servers into a rack vs 40-42 in a rack. It also forces you to use lowest powered CPUs like the l5520.
Overall, if you are colocating at a large scale, blades are worth it. If you already have space and spare racks, 1u is a better buy.
You might also consider SuperMicro's 2U twin systems. Essentially, they are the same density as blade systems, with the ability to manage each node individually, and are just a slight premium over purchasing 4 x 1U servers.
Note: I don't have real world experience with these, simply offering an educated opinion based on an awful lot of research.