When building a server, what options are available?
When it comes to building a server system, you want to be sure you’ve got the right equipment for the job. While rackmount servers and tower servers offer a lot of the same features, there are still some major differences between the two that are worth considering before you get started.
Where do tower servers fit the picture?
Upon first venturing into the world of servers, many people and small businesses look to tower servers. They’re simple, affordable, and they can get the job done. If you’re looking to run 1 to 2 systems for data storage, towers can deliver.
The tower’s shortcomings mainly exist within the realms of expandability and manageability. Hot-swappable drives are not as common on towers as they are on rackmount chassis and every tower requires a dedicated space.
If you are just looking for a storage system to have in your office, it makes sense to opt for the tower over the rack if even just for aesthetics and noise. Towers are generally much quieter than rackmount chassis although consequently, they do not offer as much ventilation.
What do rackmount servers have to offer?
For continually expanding ventures where versatility is key, rackmount chassis-style servers are more ideal. Most mid-sized businesses are running a plethora of industry standard 19” wide rackmount servers. These range from 1U, “pizza boxes” to much larger 8U.
Rackmount servers are somewhat of an industry standard and for a number of reasons. The first thing to come to mind is space. Space can become a very large issue for expanding businesses. Rackmount setups are ideal for expandability allowing users to continually integrate new rackmount chassis and modules without sacrificing floor space.
Rackmount servers are also generally better when it comes to management. You have better access to your server components for maintenance and your server system can breath easier because of increased ventilation. Rackmount chassis commonly include built-in cable management systems so you don’t get too carried away wiring multiple rackmount chassis.
If your requirements are modest at best then opting for a tower will get you where you need to go and might even save you a few bucks. However, if your endeavors are far-reaching and you plan to expand, a rackmount setup is most likely the better solution.