The advantages and disadvantages between tower server, rack server, and blade server

28 December 2020

Before renting a web server for hosting, how much do you know about web servers? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each category? However, webmasters usually don’t know how to decided when they choosing the type of server.  Novice webmasters don’t even know what type of server they bought. They blindly choose the server. They will find it do not match the needs of the enterprise after searching details about the server they bought. The webmaster should reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the enterprise by choosing the most suitable type. Inspur technical staff made a list to answer these questions.

How many types of web servers?

Website servers are mainly divided into tower, rack, and blade server types. In fact, no matter where you go, the types of servers are mainly these three types. Tower, rack and blade servers are the basic hardware equipment purchased by enterprises . An SME needs to decide to purchase several rack servers. Companies need to consider the ratio of rack to blade. Only a good combination can reduce the business cost of the enterprise effectively.

What are the characteristics between tower, rack, and blade servers?

Tower server

1. Tower server is the most common kind of servers. Its appearance and structure are almost the same as those of ordinary PC hosts, but they are slightly larger and there is no uniform standard for their dimensions.

2. The motherboard of the tower server is highly expandable.

Space is often reserved inside the chassis for redundant expansion of hard disks and power supplies. The tower server does not require additional equipment and does not have much requirements for the placement environment. It has good scalability, so the application range is very wide. It can meet common server application requirements.

3. Tower servers also have some disadvantages. For example, when multiple servers need to work at the same time to meet higher server application requirements. Because of their size are very large, they take up a lot of space and are complicated to manage.

Rack server

1. Rack  server is the first choice for most enterprises. It adopts unified standard design. It can meet the needs of intensive deployment of enterprise servers. The main advantage of rack servers is space saving. It can install multiple servers on a cabinet, which can occupy a smaller space and facilitate unified management. The width of the rack server is 19 inches, and the height is in U (1U=1.75 inches=44.45 mm). There are usually 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U, 5U, 7U standard servers.

2. Rack server has insufficient scalability due to internal space limitations. Most 1U servers only have 1 or 2 PCI expansion slots. Its  has an issue about heat dissipation performance. Rack server needs cabinet equipment. Therefore, rack server is mostly used by medium and large size companies which have a large number of servers. However, many companies host their servers with service providers.

3. The price of rack servers are generally 30% higher than tower servers with the same configuration.

 Blade server

1. The blade server is a high-availability, high-density, low-cost server platform. It is specially designed for special application industries and high-density computer environments. Every blade server is similar to an independent server. The local hard disk starts its own operating system. In the cluster mode, all blade servers can be connected to provide a high-speed network environment, share resources, and serve the same user group.

2. According to the server functions that need to be undertaken, blade servers are divided into server blades, network blades, storage blades, management blades, Fibre Channel SAN blades, extended I/O blades and other blade servers with different functions.

3. Compared with rack servers, blade servers save more space. At the same time, the heat dissipation problem is more prominent. It is often necessary to install large fans in the chassis to dissipate heat. Although this type of server saves space, its cabinet and blade prices are expensive. It is generally used in large-scale data centers or fields that require large-scale computing, such as the banking telecommunication financial industry and Internet data centers.

Inspur technical staff says whether the companies chooses to rent a web server or host a web server. According to the needs of development, they chooses a cost-effective combination. They needs to understand the characteristics of each server. After that, they can reduce unnecessary expenditures to avoid waste of corporate resources.