Server form factors

Server form factors

 Form factor refers to the size, shape, and packaging of a hardware device. Server computers typically come in one of three form factors:

Tower Case: Most servers are housed in a traditional tower case, similar to the tower case used for desktop computers. A typical server tower case is 18" high, 20 deep, and hide 9" wide with room inside for a mother- board, five or more hard drives, and other components. Tower cases also come with built-in power supplies.
Some server cases include advanced features specially designed for servers, such as redundant power supplies (so both servers can continue operating if one of the power supplies fails), hot swappable fans, and  hot swappable disk drive ways. (Hot-swappable components can be replaced without powering down the server.)

Rack mount: If you need only a few servers, tower cases are fine. You can just place the servers next to each other on a table or in a cabinet that's specially designed to hold servers. If you need more than a few servers, though,  space can quickly become an issue. For example, what if your department network requires a blank of ten file servers? You'd need a pretty long table.

Rack mount servers are designed to save space when you need more than a few servers in a confined area. A rack-mount server  is housed in a small chassis that's designed to fit into a standard 19" equipment rack.
The rack allows you to vertically stack servers to save space.

Blade Servers:   Blade servers are designed to save even more space than rack mount servers. A blade servers is a server on a single card that can be mounted alongside other blade servers in a blade chassis, which itself fits into a standard 19" equipment rack. A typical blade chassis holds six or more servers, depending on the manufacturer.

One of the key benefits of using blade servers is that you don't need a separate power supply for each server. Instead, the table enclosure provides power for all its blade servers. Some blade server system provide rack-mounted in a single rack.

In addition, the blade enclosure provides keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) switching so that you don't have  to use a separate KVM switch.
You can control any of the servers in a blade server network from single  keyboard, monitor, and mouse. (For more information, see the sidebar, "saving space with a KVM switch.")
 Another big be benefit of using blade servers is that they drastically cut down the amount of cable clutter. With rack-mount servers, each server requires its own power, keyboard, video , mouse, and network cables.
With blade servers, a single set of cables can service all the servers in a blade enclosure.

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