Blade and rack servers; advantages and disadvantages

Choosing between blade servers or those intended to go installed in a rack is a small headache that is repeated daily in the complex minds of technicians around the world. What configuration to choose? What can best serve my installation? These are questions that are repeated while they pull out their silvery and silky hairs.

As always, on the Pandora FMS blog we do not have the absolute truth, but we do have the best intentions in order to describe what these two types of servers consist of and some of their advantages and disadvantages, in order to help you make a good decision and untangle your troubled thoughts (or mess them further, which could also be). However, we will do it in a very basic and simple way, so that also all those who do not have great technical skills know what this exciting universe of server disposition is.

Without further ado, let’s get to know what blade and rack servers look like and see some clues to help you decide.

Blade and Rack Servers: What Are They Like?

Rack servers are designed to be installed, as you can guess, inside a rack, specifically in racks intended for this purpose. As you probably already know- and if you don’t know we’ll tell you right now – racks are a type of very specialized cabinets and are designed to house electronic components, and their size is measured in own units called “U”. If you want to know more about what a rack is and some things to keep in mind before choosing one, you can enter this excellent article.

Blade servers, on the other hand, are created to be installed in a chassis in which each of the servers that make up the whole are housed. One difference from the servers located in a rack is that in the arrangement in blade these are installed in “sheets”, perpendicular to the housing and “inserted” in it.

Blade and Rack Servers: How to Choose?

As you might assume, the choice between one type of server or another will depend on your needs.

If you need a significant number of servers, you may have the best option to have them on blade. Blades tend to take up less space and are also often more energy efficient.

If, on the other hand, your needs aren’t as demanding, you might want to have the servers in a rack. Racks are often cheaper than chassis for blade servers, so a blade installation will need multiple servers on its “sheets” to become economically more cost-effective than a rack.

However, also keep in mind that, although the rack is usually cheaper than the blade chassis, when we talk about the servers that make up each of these two provisions the opposite usually happens, and that is that blade servers are usually cheaper than those housed in racks, so the number of servers you need to purchase will also be important when deciding on one or the other option, from the point of view of money. However, as you can imagine, all this also depends on the performance of servers, range and manufacturers.

In addition, there is another solution that will leave both blade and rack manufacturers happy, such as having both types of server and taking advantage of the advantages that both provisions offer. Of course, therefore you will have to spend a certain amount of money. In addition, there are blades that can be installed inside racks, which would allow you to combine in the same space both modalities. However, if you choose this option you will need to confirm the compatibility of both types first.

Finally, one thing to keep in mind is that the regular blade servers can only be installed on chassis of the same brand, so you have to be aware of possible incompatibilities. Also, don’t forget to check the manageability; they usually include management tools.

A little monitoring

So far we’ve come, knowing a little better the differences between blade and rack servers. Do you want to know something else, very related to servers? What about monitoring? And if we talk about monitoring, we’ll have to talk about Pandora FMS.

Servers are, of course, one of the many things Pandora FMS can monitor. If you want to know more you can go here.

In addition, remember that Pandora FMS is a flexible monitoring software, capable of monitoring devices, infrastructures, applications, services and business processes.

Want to know more about what Pandora FMS has to offer you? Find out by entering here.

Or if you have to monitor more than 100 devices, you can also enjoy a FREE 30-day Pandora FMS Enterprise TRIAL. Get it here.

And remember that if you have a small number of devices to monitor you can use the OpenSource version of Pandora FMS. Find out more here.

Don’t hesitate to submit your inquiries. The Pandora FMS team will be happy to serve you!