As you can probably guess from its name alone, a rackmount server is essentially a server that is designed to fit into a space on a vertical rack. Sometimes the term rackmount server is shortened to ‘rack server’ – which refers to the same thing.
Typically rackmount servers are made to fit into the industry-standard 19 inch wide racks. However as much as the width of the servers is standardized, the depth of the racks can vary between manufacturers and is normally in the 19 inch to 26 inch region.
What Is Rack Server (Rack-Mounted Server)?
Unlike its depth, the height of rackmount servers is uniformly measured in Units (U) – each unit being 1.75 inches. It is possible to find rackmount servers in sizes ranging from 1U to 7U – though the most common sizes are 1U, 2U or 5U. The racks in which rackmount servers are placed are also often measured in U to indicate how many servers they can house.
Needless to say the technical specifications of every rackmount server varies in terms of its processor, memory, storage space, and so on. Many servers include support for backup power, so that they won’t be affected by a temporary blackout.
Benefits of Rackmount Servers
The main reason why rackmount servers have become more and more popular is due to the fact that it conveniently allows servers to be housed alongside other important server equipment such as backup batteries, shared storage arrays, and network switches. The cables also tend to be easier to manage – and some racks have solutions to help make it neater.
Additionally rackmount servers are designed to ensure that there is proper airflow and cooling. Often the racks themselves are designed to promote better airflow and many come with their own cooling systems too.
On top of all that, rackmount servers are flexible and can be designed to suit any specifications. For small enterprises or users that don’t need an entire rack of servers it is possible to purchase a single unit that it set up to their specifications and then house it in the rack in a data center or colocation service.
If you’re thinking of getting a server for the first time, a rackmount server may be your best bet. The fact that it can be tailored to your needs while still obtaining the benefits that normally only come with scale is definitely something that you should keep in mind when weighing your options. 🙂