BLUE CHIP COMPUTERS supply all leading server brands available in South Africa. These include HP, Dell and IBM.

BLUE CHIP COMPUTERS will assist you with the configuration of your servers. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when configuring servers and it is important that they are configured correctly for your environment and the computing and users needs.

Servers are typically setup to run a dedicated service or services to serve the needs of the users or computers on the network.

Typical services run on a server will include the following:- file server (shared and private data), mail server, database server, print server, web server and various applications including bookkeeping and management applications.

Servers often provide essential services across a network, either to private users inside a large organization or to public users via the Internet.

Servers are critical components to a business’s success and can be setup to be virtualised with redundancy and therefore utilise the hardware more effectively.

A server is a computing device which is meant to process requests and provide services and functionality for other programs, devices, or clients. Usually, servers are equipped with more processing power, higher memory, and storage than that of a traditional computer. With servers, clients benefit from resources such as data processing, handling multiple requests, and performing computational tasks throughout its lifetime.

Towers, blades, and the racks are three different types of servers generally meant to perform similar tasks of providing services to the clients and applications. However, their efficiency depends on various factors such as estimated load on the servers, space and budget constraints, storage capacity, integration, and implementation. Therefore, it is very important to know and understand which type of server will be the best to your business.

Towers, racks, and blades are the three primary options when it comes to choosing a new server or server infrastructure. Here is a summary of the aforementioned three types of servers you’d need to know to choose your right fit.

What is a Rack Server?

A rack server, or rack-mounted server, is any server that is built specifically to be mounted within a server rack. Rack servers are a general-purpose machine that can be configured to support a wide range of requirements. They are most commonly found in data center environments but can also be used in smaller computer closets. Unlike traditional servers that look much like a PC, a rack server is wider. So it can be secured into the rack using mounting screws or rails, depending on the design. If you only require a small number of servers, they are the best choice economically due to the lower upfront costs.

Benefits of a Rack Server

While which type of server you use largely depends on the scenario, there are several advantages of using a smaller rack server over a blade server:

  • Power – Rack servers are typically built with all the needed components to operate as a stand-alone system. They can be very powerful and are used to run high end applications.
  • Convenience – Having the ability to easily mount a server within a rack is convenient and saves a lot of space, especially when compared to a traditional tower style server.
  • Cooling – Cooling a rack server is easier than most others. They are usually equipped with internal fans and placing them in a rack increases airflow.
  • Ideal for Lower Quantity – Rack servers are best suited when you need more than one server (but less than about 10) because they don’t require a massive chassis.

What is a Blade Server?

A blade server is a modular server that allows multiple servers to be housed in a smaller area. These servers are physically thin and typically only have CPUs, memory, integrated network controllers, and sometimes storage drives built in. Any video cards or other components that are needed will be facilitated by the server chassis. Which is where the blades slide into. Blade servers are often seen in large data centers. Due to their ability to fit so many servers into one single rack and their ability to provide a high processing power.

In most cases, one large chassis such as HPE’s BladeSystem will be mounted into a server rack and then multiple blade servers slide into the chassis. The chassis can then provide the power, manage networking, and more. This allows each blade server to operate more efficiently and requires fewer internal components.

Blade servers are generally used when there is a high computing requirement with some type of Enterprise Storage System: Network Attached Storage (NAS) or a Storage Area Network (SAN). They maximize available space by providing the highest processor per RU availability. Blade Servers also provide rapid serviceability by allowing components to be swapped out without taking the machine offline. You will be able to scale to a much higher processor density using the Blade architecture. The facility will need to support a much higher thermal and electrical load per square foot.

Benefits of a Blade Server

  • Power Consumption – In many cases the chassis for the Blade Server will supply the power to multiple servers, reducing total consumption.
  • Hot Swappable – Blade servers can be configured to be hot swappable so if one blade has a problem, it can be pulled and replaced much more easily. This helps to facilitate redundancy.
  • Less Need for Cables – Rather than having to run individual cables for each server, blade servers can have one cable (often fiber) run to the chassis, thus reducing the total cable requirements.
  • Processing Power – Blade Servers can provide an extremely high processing power while taking up minimal space

What is a Tower Server?

Tower servers are the most basic types of servers and are often mistaken to be a traditional CPU of a desktop computer. On the outside, a tower server looks and feels much like a traditional tower PC. These servers are designed to offer a basic level of performance and are therefore on a lower-end even in terms of price. However, there is currently a wide range of tower servers which can go very costly and can handle large and multiple tasks.

Tower servers can consume a good amount of physical space to be installed and used. Due to their big and bulky form-factor (most of the time), it becomes difficult to physically manage them. Also, due to size, stacking them on top of one another or rearranging them from place to place is difficult.

Benefits of a Tower Server

  • Scalability and ease of upgrade: Tower servers can be customized and upgraded based on necessity.
  • Cost-effective: Tower servers are probably the cheapest of all kinds of servers and are, therefore, very cost effective.
  • Cools easily: Since a tower server has a low overall component density, it cools down easily.