What Type of Servers Are Used in Data Centers?


Angela Bailey

Data centers are critical infrastructure that house and manage vast amounts of data. These facilities require powerful and reliable servers to ensure smooth operations. In this article, we will explore the different types of servers commonly used in data centers.

Rack Servers

Rack servers are the most common type of server used in data centers. As the name suggests, these servers are designed to be mounted on racks, which allows for easy organization and scalability. Rack servers are typically 1U or 2U in size, with each unit being 1.75 inches tall.

Benefits of Rack Servers:

  • Space-efficient: Rack servers maximize space utilization by stacking multiple servers vertically.
  • Easy management: The standardized form factor makes it easy to install, remove, and maintain rack servers.
  • Scalability: Data centers can easily add or remove rack servers based on their needs.

Blade Servers

Blade servers are another popular choice for data centers. Unlike rack servers that occupy individual units, blade servers are housed in a chassis that can hold multiple server blades. Each blade is a self-contained server that includes processors, memory, storage, and networking capabilities.

Advantages of Blade Servers:

  • Density: Blade servers offer higher density compared to rack servers as multiple blades can be housed in a single chassis.
  • Easier cabling: Blade server chassis often include integrated networking switches and shared power supplies, reducing cable clutter.
  • Efficiency: Blade servers typically consume less power than traditional rack-mounted servers due to shared resources within the chassis.

Tower Servers

Tower servers are standalone servers that resemble traditional desktop computer towers. They are commonly used in small to medium-sized data centers or for specific applications where scalability and density are not major concerns.

Key Features of Tower Servers:

  • Flexibility: Tower servers can be easily deployed in various locations, making them suitable for remote offices or specialized environments.
  • Expandability: These servers often have ample space for adding additional storage or expansion cards.
  • Ease of maintenance: Tower servers offer easy access to internal components, simplifying maintenance and upgrades.

Mission-Critical Servers

Mission-critical servers are specifically designed to handle high-demand and essential applications. These servers provide exceptional reliability, redundancy, and fault-tolerance to minimize downtime and ensure uninterrupted operations.

Characteristics of Mission-Critical Servers:

  • Redundant components: Mission-critical servers feature redundant power supplies, fans, and storage systems to eliminate single points of failure.
  • Fault-tolerant design: These servers employ advanced technologies like ECC memory, hot-swappable components, and RAID configurations to ensure data integrity and continuous operation.
  • High availability: Mission-critical servers often include features such as automatic failover, clustering, and remote management capabilities for seamless operation even in the event of hardware failures.

In Conclusion

Data centers rely on different types of servers to meet their diverse requirements. Rack servers offer scalability and easy management while blade servers provide high density and efficiency.

Tower servers offer flexibility and expandability for smaller deployments. Lastly, mission-critical servers deliver exceptional reliability and fault-tolerance for essential applications. By understanding the strengths and capabilities of each server type, data center operators can make informed decisions to optimize their infrastructure.

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