Server anatomy & ProLiant form factors

In our previous blog, “Back to the basics: What is a server?” we reinforced your knowledge of what a server is and how it differs from a desktop computer. Today, we will take a closer look at the server and analyze server anatomy and the server form factors available in the HPE ProLiant Gen9 server family.

The anatomy of the server can easily be compared to the anatomy of the human body. From the brains of the server, to the heart and skeleton, let’s look at the different parts and pieces that make up a server:

Server anatomy FB.jpg

  • CPU- the server’s brains- the processor is the logic circuitry that responds to and processes the basic instructions that drive the server
  • I/O Bus- the server’s nervous system: the I/O Bus enables components within the server to communicate with one another
  • Power Supply- the server’s muscle
  • Server cooling fans- the server’s temperature
  • Hard drive/RAID + Storage controller- the server’s long term memory
  • RAM- the server’s short term memory
  • Network Interface- the server’s senses: the network interface enables connection to the network
  • Operating Systems- the server’s heart: the Operating System is the heart of the server and manages memory, processes, software, hardware, and communication.
  • Applications- the server’s personality
  • Form Factor (Rack/Tower/Blade)- the server’s skeleton

ProLiant Gen9 servers come in a few different form factors so you can choose the one that’s best for your specific business needs.

Tower (ML): Tower servers are great for small businesses that need just a few servers as they do not take up a lot of floor space, do not require elaborate cooling systems, and are easily expanded. Additionally, high-end models can support virtualization. Integrated with a simplified but comprehensive management suite and industry leading support, the ProLiant Gen9 tower portfolio delivers more business value, helps increase IT staff productivity, and expedites service delivery.

Rack (DL): Once your IT requirements grow beyond what just a few servers can do, it is time to consider moving up to Rack Servers. Dozens of these machines can fit in the same footprint as a couple of towers, and their server architecture is quite scalable. The DL family of servers are the most flexible, reliable, and performance optimized ProLiant rack servers—ever!

Blade (BL): Blade servers are even more space-efficient and scalable. If your business needs more servers than will fit in a rack, a blade ecosystem is the best solution. The BL family of servers helps you simplify data center operations and offers greater density, shared resources, scalability, and efficiencies.

To learn more about HPE ProLiant servers, be sure to join our Coffee Coaching communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn

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About the Author


Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.