Feeds

Microsoft seeks patent for blade server chassis

OEMs will love this just like they loved Surface

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Sharp-eyed blogger Kevin Houston has spotted a Microsoft attempt to patent a “Tray and Chassis Blade Server Architecture”.

The patent, published last December, offers a chassis design that assumes blades – storage, compute, network switch and hybrid blades all get a mention – will reside in trays and be inserted horizontally. The trays will provide and plug straight in to sockets for power and network connectivity.

Such an arrangement, the patent appears to argue, reduces cabling complexity and hassle.

Here's part of Microsoft's description of the design:

“Presented herein are configurations of a multi-blade computational unit architecture involving a chassis comprising a number of slots respectively configured to support an insertable tray hosting one or more blades of the server comprising a set of blade components. The chassis and blade provides power and network connectors that are positioned to couple upon insertion of a tray into a slot of the chassis, thus avoiding the inclusion of cables and the manual manipulation thereof.”

That sounds nice but hardly revolutionary.

The patent application also mentions a “chassis unified connector” providing power and data, which would be interesting as Power over Ethernet has generally been imagined as a way to fuel rather less energy-hungry devices than servers. Another feature Microsoft talks up is the ability to house blades of different sizes in one chassis, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

One of the images describing Microsoft's blade server design

One of the images describing Microsoft's blade server design

There's also a discussion of integrating storage and compute blades. GPU and other specialist blades also get a mention elsewhere in the patent.

While it is not explicitly described, the patent could – if one draws a long bow – perhaps be considered almost a design for a kind of modular server. Built-in management components are also mentioned. Again with an optimistic eye, might that be a chance for Microsoft to embed some Hyper-V and/or System Center goodness in a blade chassis and have it orchestrate a server's components? Could software-defined-networking and virtualisation then get a new twist as physical and virtual resources become manageable in new ways?

An innovation of that sort might just quiet Microsoft's friends in server-land, as integration of OS, management layer and hypervisor is probably beyond them. But with some of Microsoft's server-land friends also having been stung by Surface, this patent could also provoke some testy questions, even if Redmond has only a stream of royalties in mind.

Or perhaps the patent describes how Redmond wants to build Azure bit barns, in which case everyone can move along because there's nothing to see here. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.