If your business has multiple employees that need access to the same resources, then a server, the physical alternative to cloud-hosting, may be a necessity. It means that tasks for network and systems administrators are easier, configuration changes and security updates only need to be applied to the one server computer, and anyone on the network has access to resources such as email, shared calendars, printers etc.
There are three different types of server and it mainly has to do with the way they are physically configured, but nevertheless this still can have an impact on the way the server(s) can perform. Here we go through each type, tower, rack and blade servers to help you figure out which is the best for you.
Upright, stand alone servers, tower servers include all the traditional server components. Because of this, tower servers take up more space than other forms of server and are restricted to the amount of floor or wall space you may have.
Tower servers are ideal for small or remote office environments, as they are quiet and inexpensive but can take up a lot of room.
Blade servers are more like compacted versions of servers, with several servers operating within one chassis. Components such as cooling and ventilation are removed from the servers themselves and are shared among several servers.
More economical than a tower server, they can have trouble with overheating, though most modern blades have a better design and have space for air circulation. They can increase efficiency and save space in comparison to tower servers as they are neater.
Blade servers use a modular, integrated design approach that is easy to change or add to should you feel the need. These types of servers are ideal for data centres and use with external storage, and for companies that are looking to grow slowly.
If you are a bigger business and need to run more than one server, then a rack server is the best type for your needs. A server rack allows you to fit many servers into the same unit.
However, this does mean that they may need active cooling and air circulation, many businesses dedicate isolated rooms to their servers so they can have their own climate controlled system to make sure they do not overheat. They are far more economical spatially, and have access points on at least two sides of the unit.
Rack servers are easily expandable with lots of storage and memory. They are usually more expensive than tower servers but less than blades.
How To Decide
- Figure out how much data you have now, and how much you create month by month. Do you need a server that lets you add to it easily?
- Where possible, always buy the ‘recommended’ amount of memory as opposed to the ‘required’ amount for any software.
- Is back-up available with the server?
- Find out how much support is available for the possibility of an issue arising with the server.
Darcie Hewitt-Dudding writes on behalf of the Netshop; from server racks to Ethernet cables to telecoms, Netshop is an online outlet that provides the best in computer network equipment.