What are the Benefits of a Tower Server?
Servers come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The one thing they have in common is that they all provide resources for other computers to use. The key to choosing the right server starts with understanding the benefits of each form factor.
What's the Difference Between Server Types?
The three most common server form factors are towers, rackmount, and blade:
- Tower Servers: PowerEdge towers look very much like home desktop computers, sharing the same design lineage, but are vastly more powerful. Like desktops, they have lots of room for expansion and can be easily upgraded. They do take up a lot of space, but this also means that they are easy to cool. Models like the PowerEdge T430 and T630 feature Xeon CPUs and up to a terabyte or more of memory.
- Rackmount: Easily stacked, rack servers follow a standard design pattern. A PowerEdge rack server is nineteen inches wide and has its height measured in units of 1.75 inches so that a 2U server is 3.5 inches high.
- Blade: Blade servers are similar to rackmounts but follow a more integrated design. They are far more centralized and use a single management interface for an entire bank. They require the most cooling but are very efficient.
What About Equipping a Server?
Every server needs some way to store data, some way to process it, and some way to connect to other systems. Most PowerEdge models offer everything you need to ensure stable operation under even the most demanding workloads.
- Processor: Intel Xeon processors are specifically for server workloads and use different designs and sockets from Core and Pentium processors. Each CPU features multiple cores in a single package and many Dell PowerEdge models feature two-socket designs with either six-core or eight-core processors in each socket. Many Xeons trade single core speed for additional cores and extra cache. For example, the E5-2620 features 15 MB cache and six cores at 2.0 GHz, while the E3-1225 quad-core features 6 MB cache at 3.10 GHz. Higher speed processors often come in single-socket PowerEdge tower servers.
- RAM: Enterprise-class PowerEdge servers can often use up to a Terabyte of RAM in a single installation. The less often you have to go to the hard drive the more performance your server is going to have.
- Storage: Server storage requires more than just a hard drive to provide storage capacity. PowerEdge servers provide both hot-plug capability and a RAID controller to ensure both stability and performance. Most do not have much use for optical drives but an array of NVME drives can provide the PowerEdge with tremendous amounts of software defined high-speed storage.
- Connectivity: Dell fits each PowerEdge with the capacity for multiple simultaneous physical network interfaces. Most do not rely on Wi-Fi, instead using a series of Gigabit network interfaces to avoid interference and saturation.
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