Server Types: Blade Server vs. Rack Server vs. Tower Server
Blade server and rack servers are the most commonly used equipment in data centers, while tower servers are generally used in small and medium-sized enterprises or office areas. These three types of servers have their advantages and disadvantages. They also have different effects on the performance, space, and scalability of data centers. What should be the server solutions for different application scenarios? Here let us know about them: blade server vs. rack server vs. tower server.
What Are They and How Do They Work?
The following introduces the definition, form and function of blade servers, rack servers and tower servers. These three network servers have their unique features in terms of form factor and performance.
Compared with blade servers and tower servers, the space occupied by rack servers is in balance. Rack-mounted servers are designed according to uniform standards, usually installed in a rack, and can be stacked and placed in a metal casing for easy management.
The rack server measures 1.75 inches high and 19 inches wide. The height can be 1U, 4U, 6U, 10U or higher.
The internal space of 1U rack server is relatively limited, and only 1-2 PCI expansion slots are allowed. Customized rack servers can support more accessories and card slots. For example, the FS RS3110 server, as a single-socket 1U server, is customizable and can provide various accessories you need.
The advantages of rack servers:
Reduced failures: easy to move, easy to deploy.
Simplified cabling: In-rack management tools make cable organization easy and efficient.
Cost-effectiveness: lower cost and large amount of computing power and efficiency.
Larger data centers may use rack-mounted servers for space savings and ease of management, but care must be taken with cooling.
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Blade servers are similar to rack servers, but they are smaller and contain only modular circuit boards such as the server CPU, memory, and network controls. However, some blade servers have storage drives installed that can be used for network storage, such as SAN or NAS devices. The advantages are as follows:
Hot-swappable for easy deployment.
Data cluster processing.
All blade servers can be connected through a single interface, which makes maintenance and monitoring easy.
Blade servers do not involve the tedious task of setting up cabling.
However, their intense work also generates a lot of heat, so good cooling is required to keep them running efficiently.
''Also Check- NAS vs Server: Which Is Right for You?
Unlike blade servers or rack servers, tower servers are integrated desktop computers that take up a lot of space. Therefore, they have relatively more CPU power, have fast read memory, are used to handle multi-user requests, and also provide different services, such as DHCP or DNS.
Strong scalability, such as redundant expansion of hard disks and power supplies.
It has a wide range of applications and can meet the application requirements of common servers.
Stand-alone rack-configured servers allow customization for specific mission needs.
The advantages of tower servers:
Upgrades and scalability: tower servers can be customized and upgraded as needed.
High cost performance: compared with blade servers and rack servers, the price of tower servers is low.
Heat dissipation: tower servers have low component density and are easy to dissipate and cool.
But everything is double-sided, and tower servers also have many limitations, such as relatively large volume, large space occupation, complex management, and lack of other components like advanced graphics cards and advanced RAM.
Differences Among the Types of Servers
After the introduction of the above major three network server types, you have a preliminary understanding of the servers. Then, let's describe the difference between blade servers, rack servers, and tower servers.
Key Differences: Blade Server vs. Rack Server
In terms of form factor, the small size of a blade server makes it very limited to the components that provide computing performance, so you can fit more blades in the same space. Rack servers, on the other hand, are wide and short, which means you can only fit one server in a single section of the rack.
Compared with rack servers, blade servers are used more for high-performance processing of data clustering. The internal configuration is hot-swappable, which supports the removal or replacement of devices in the cluster for maintenance, reducing downtime. Rack servers equipped with corresponding cables and other facilities are relatively complete, all components operate independently, and additional memory, storage, and CPU are provided internally to support expansion.
They both have high humidity control and cooling costs. Rack server heat is determined by the number of servers placed inside, while blade server heat is determined by the number of initial installations. Generally speaking, blade servers are more concentrated than rack servers, so cooling costs are higher.
Key Differences: Rack Server vs. Tower Server
The difference between rack servers and tower servers is mainly reflected in size and management efficiency, and computing performance is equivalent. Rack servers are much smaller than tower servers and can be placed in server cabinets for stack management, while tower servers are generally used in small offices or home networks and take up a lot of space.
Both servers are configured with independent components to provide scalability. The tower server requires less configuration and supports customization and upgrades for business needs, but the upgrade cost will be relatively high. In terms of heat dissipation, rack servers need to be equipped with appropriate cooling facilities, while tower servers only need peripherals such as monitors, and the cooling cost is lower.
Blade Server vs. Rack Server vs. Tower Server: How to Choose Them?
To increase data center storage and computing power, you must select at least one server type for your on-premises infrastructure. As for blade servers, rack servers, and tower servers, some of the advantages are summarized above.
Considering your business model comprehensively, if you are a medium-to-large enterprise with limited data center space but need multiple servers to process high-end applications, you can choose blade servers to complete the deployment. But if your data center space requires computing power, you can choose rack servers. For a small business or home network, a tower server for storing files and deploying network resources would be a better choice.
There are many different brands in the server market, and the server performance and services provided also vary. FS servers include rack servers and tower servers with built-in Intel Xeon processors for faster and stronger data processing performance. They also offer a range of pre-configured multi-function options to meet your evolving business needs. In addition, FS servers can configure customized servers according to your network requirements, including high-performance processors, memory, hard disks, and PCIe expansion slots.
If you get either of the FS rack servers and tower servers, you get complete server management, all included and at no additional cost to you. That means you'll have a team of experts managing your servers with the best tools in the industry, best-in-class server resources, and unrivaled technical support.
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To sum up, blade servers, rack servers, and tower servers each have their advantages and features and can be applied to different scenarios. Many enterprises prefer rack servers because their computing power is comparable to tower servers. The volume is also relatively smaller than tower servers, while the cooling cost is lower than that of blade servers. What's more, the rack server also has its features and has good market prospects in the future.