Thursday, July 7, 2011
1. Tower serversTower servers seem dated and look more like desktops than servers, but these servers can pack a punch. In general, if you have a lot of servers, you’re probably not using a bunch of tower servers, because they can take up a lot of space and are tough to physically manage since you can’t easily stack them on one another. In some cases as organizations grow and move to rack servers, conversion kits can be purchased to turn a tower server into a rack-mount server.
2. Rack serversIf you run a data center of any reasonable size, you’ve probably used a lot of industry standard 19″ wide rack servers. Sized in Us (which is a single 1.75″ rack unit), rack servers can range from 1U “pizza boxes” to 5U, 8U, and more. In general, the bigger the server, the more expansion opportunities are available.
3. Blade serversThere was a day when buying individual blade servers meant trading expansion possibilities for compactness. Although this is still true to some extent, today’s blade servers pack quite a wallop. I recently purchased a half-height Dell M610 blade server with 96 GB of RAM and two six-core processors.
Bottom lineIf you need one or two servers, a tower solution probably makes sense. If you need three to 24 servers or massive scalability, then rack servers are for you. When you go need more than 24 servers, I advise you to consider a blade solution to meet your data center needs.