Blades Servers vs. Rack Servers

In the world of data centers, there is a lot of conversation going on between blade and rack servers. Data center designers and managers are thinking whether to deploy Rackable servers or blade server to deploy virtualized applications. Before getting into any conclusion about blade and rack servers, we shall have a close look about both the server technologies.

Blade Servers:

Blade server follows stripped down design technique with a modular design to optimize energy and space. The main components in blade servers are blade enclosure which houses multiple blade servers, various interconnects, cooling, networking

and power equipment. Standard rack is 48 cm wide and 4.45 cm tall and defines the least size of any equipment.

Blade Enclosure: Enclosure is one of the main important parts of any servers as it performs many non-core computing services. Compared to blade server non blade system uses hot, space insufficient and bulky components; this might degrade the overall efficiency of the data centers. Managers can localize services in one place and sharing the resources blade computers will improve the overall efficiency.

Cooling:  we all know mechanical and electrical components in a server produce heat. To ensure proper functionality of these system heats should be eliminated. Data center designers always have a conflict between how much heat will be generated and how many fans to implement to cut down the heat.

Storage:  computers typically use hard drives to store data, OS and applications. Some of the storage methods are SATA, SCSI, FC, iSCSI, FireWire and many more. Sometimes data centers boot from SAN (Storage Area Network) which allows disk free blades.

Blade servers are well suited for specific purposes such as Virtualization, web hosting and cluster computing. Blade servers are not the answer to all computing problems. Very large computing tasks may still need to implement many servers; this might be a bad idea as they suffer from over heating and air conditioning problems. Pricing of blade servers might range from $7, 100 to $17, 000.

Rack Servers:

Rack servers are designed and configured for installation in a central framework called racks. Rack servers allow access to the servers by an open enclosure at least on two sides of the rack. Compared to blade servers, rack server consumes less space and can be placed into the bays or slots. This type of servers makes it easy to connect new computers to other network components. A single rack server may contain multiple servers stacked one above the other, this minimizes floor spacing. Rack spacing the servers will minimize cabling among network components and requires a special cooling system to prevent excess heat generated from the components.

When thinking about Virtualization blade servers scores high compared to rack mounted servers. No doubt both technologies reduce desktop space, blade servers allows administrators to quickly see and gather information on physical servers including hardware configuration, firmware, operating status and IP addresses. Blade servers reduce the number of places an administrator must visit compared to rack-mounted servers. Blade servers are pretty common in data centers. Rack mount servers are a combination of blade technology and Virtualization.

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