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Servers 101: Blade Server vs Rack vs Tower – What’s the Difference?

May 28, 2019

Rack servers

Blades, racks, and towers – each type of server essentially performs the same function, so how do you know which type will be best for your business?

If you’re a seasoned IT professional, chances are you’ve already taken a stance on the topic; whether it be out of preference or necessity. But if you’re new to the server game, or are considering an overhaul of your data center, you may have questions about which type will best fit your needs and budget.

What are Blade Servers?

blade server

Built with a modular design to minimize space and energy consumption, blade servers have many components removed to achieve their small footprint while still being considered computers.

Blade enclosures, which can hold several blade servers, provide necessary functions such as power, cooling, and networking. Working together, the blade servers and enclosure complete the blade system.

Browse our Refurbished Dell Blade Servers

What are Tower Servers?

On the outside, tower servers look and feel much like traditional tower PCs. However, tower servers are designed to perform functions that PCs aren’t intended for. These upright units house all the standard server components, such as hard disks, motherboards, CPUs, networking and cabling.

Due to their size, tower servers typically require more space than blade or rack units, so organizations considering tower servers should be aware of the space they’re willing to dedicate to these units.

Browse our Refurbished HP Tower Servers

What are Rack Servers?

Complete servers designed for compact vertical arrangement within a rack or cabinet, rack servers use space efficiently and offer centralized cable and server management. When a rack is stacked with multiple servers, a cooling system is necessary to avoid heat buildup that may occur when these power dissipating servers are confined to a small space.

Rack servers are typically preferred by groups that need to maximize their computing power without compromising space.

Browse our Refurbished Dell & HP Rack Servers


What Type of Server Do I Need?

So which server best fits your needs? If you own a small business and have some floor space to spare, a tower system may be your best bet. If you’re looking for a powerhouse system that can be easily added to in the future, a rack system could be the solution you’re looking for.

If you have any questions or concerns about which type of server will best fit your needs, contact our experts at 1-855-432-8918, and they’ll gladly answer any questions you might have. Feel free to browse our selection of tower servers, blade servers, and rack servers at ServerMonkey!