Jan 16

Tower, Rack or Blade?

Server – A computer, device or program that is dedicated to managing network resources. Generally, servers are equipped with greater processing power, storage and memory than that of traditional computers. A user may set up a server to deliver/receive email, control access to a network, manage print jobs or host a website. Some servers are referred to as “dedicated”, as they are committed to a specific task. Other servers are “shared”, meaning they can assume multiple responsibilities. Understanding which server is best suited for your organization is very important.

There are three different types of servers – tower, rack and blade:

Tower – These servers are often mistaken for the traditional tower PC as they are similar in appearance. Most smaller organizations that are not utilizing a data center or colocation facility, opt for tower servers. They can be installed under someone’s desk or in a corner office. Tower servers are often quieter than rack servers and are designed to offer a basic level of performance and price. However, towers can occasionally require more physical space than blade or rack units.

Rack – Designed for compact vertical arrangement within a rack or cabinet. These servers can be stacked one over another along with other devices such as storage, SAN devices, network peripherals, cooling systems and batteries.  A single rack can contain multiple servers and devices. Rack servers consume more power due to their high component density usually requiring additional cooling systems.

Blade – Built with a modular design to minimize space and energy consumption.  These servers are housed inside blade enclosures forming a blade system that provides the necessary functions of power, cooling and networking. Blades are presently the most advanced and smallest type of server available.

You may be wondering which server is best suited for the needs of your organization?

Simply put, if you have a small number of clients and require minimal computing power, a tower server should be your first choice. If you require greater power and multiple servers to service your business than a rack server would be ideal.  Lastly, if your organization has a large number of clients and applications that demand very powerful computing systems than a blade server would be best suited for your needs.

This post has provided a very basic explanation of the three server types. If you would like to have a detailed discussion specific to the demands of your organization, then speak with us now.