Both blade and rack-mounted servers offer distinct advantages in data centre computing. The most basic differences are in performance, power consumption, form factor, space efficiency and cooling requirements.
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Rack-mounted servers are contained in a horizontal case 1.75 inches high, which is mounted in a rack inside a cabinet. The benefits of rack servers are that they offer an efficient use of floor space, and easier management of cables and servers. A rack server cabinet offers the capability to use servers from different manufacturers.
Blade servers are cost-efficient and slim, housed inside a chassis, which is also called a cabinet. The blade servers within the same chassis are connected using a bus wiring system. The blade servers share a network connection, power supply and cooling systems. Blade servers are considered to have more common cooling issues because rack-mounted servers each have their own individual cooling systems.
Both rack-mounted and blade servers appeal to larger companies, while blades are more popular with small- to medium-sized businesses, according to ZDNet. Each server arrangement is a more advanced system than the tower server, the most basic server arrangement. Tower servers are built like workstation PCs, but use substantially more space.
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