The performance of a company server is measured in terms of its computing power and its storage capacity. The type of server, however, and whether you go for a tower, a rack or a blade, is also a fundamental factor to take into consideration.

Tower servers

This type of server is often mistaken for the very similar-looking central processing unit of a desktop computer. It is designed to be positioned on or underneath a desk and offers a basic level of performance. It also costs roughly the same as a desktop computer.

The advantages of a tower server lie not only in the fact that it is relatively compact but also in its ability to be used in work areas which are not specifically designed to accommodate servers, meaning that you do not need a special data room or any special bays in which to install the server.

Furthermore, this type of server does not require a great deal of maintenance. It is easily identifiable both physically and on the company's network, since the data is stored in a single tower, rather than being spread across various machines, as might be the case with several servers installed in a bay.

Its simplicity and robustness also mean that the tower server is considered an ideal place to start for those looking to begin using a server in a small company.

Simply choose the storage volume you require by adding backup hard drives and the computing power by adjusting the frequency and the number of processors. In practical terms, 4 hard drives and a processor should suffice for an organisation with 25 workstations, although a tower server can accommodate up to 6 drives and two processors.
Tower Server

Rack servers

A rack server is designed to be positioned in a bay, which enables you to stack various devices on top of each other in a large tower. The bay will accommodate all of the hardware devices the company needs to function, including the server, storage devices, and security and network appliances.

The benefit of this type of server is that having all components of the system located in the same place makes it easier to manage connections and maintain the system. The bay is, in a way, the 'data centre' of the SME.

It also provides great flexibility since it enables you to install several servers in the same bay, one for each application or function (email, professional software, storage, etc.), for example.

In practical terms, rack servers, which are generally more expensive than tower servers, have a much greater storage capacity, meaning that they are better suited to medium-sized businesses or micro-businesses, and small businesses for which information technology is a strategic priority.
Rack Server

Blade servers

Blade servers are the latest development in the history of the different types of server. Slim and compact, just like a blade, they slide vertically into a specially designed chassis and are unusual in that they share certain elements of the hardware with other blade servers in the chassis for the purposes of efficiency and cost reduction. Blade servers, for example, use a single feed positioned on the host compartment.

In short, blade servers will give you much greater processing power, take up less space and use less energy than other forms of server used for the same purposes.

Of course, blade servers are also more expensive than the other two types of server, but the level of performance is obviously beyond compare.

It is also interesting to note that for all three types of server it is possible to add an increasing number of drives to help support the growth of the company.
Blade Servers