As optical connectivity is deployed internal to blade servers and new designs begin to utilize cables to deploy high speed signals, such as Open19, traditional midplanes are no longer required to support high speed data signals. In these cases, the midplane assembly are only needed to provide management signals and power to the blade servers while leaving the expensive high speed copper infrastructure unneeded and unused. The following figures and description describe a two methods by which the management signals of the blade system are distributed throughout the blade servers optically, orthogonal to the blade orientation, separating them from the midplane. The costly, under-utilized midplane can now be replaced by a simple power bus and optical cable support as it no longer carries electrical signals.
Norton, John and Leigh, Kevin, "Optical Blade Management", Technical Disclosure Commons, (March 29, 2017)