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Rack mount servers benefits over desktop servers

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kenny chia
Regular Advisor

Rack mount servers benefits over desktop servers

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using rack mount servers (eg ProLiant DL servers) over desktop servers?
Are they cheaper?
Compatible with linux ?
Easier to manage?
Save space?
I have no prior experiences over rack mount servers..

More points will be given for mentioning your implementation of rack mount servers and their advantages and disadvantages..
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Elmar P. Kolkman
Honored Contributor

Re: Rack mount servers benefits over desktop servers

Overall answer is: it depends.. ;-/

They are not cheaper, in fact they are almost always more expensive.
The difference is mostly only the cabinet, they use the same motherboard etc.
So management and compatibility is the same.

As for space, that depends on how many servers you have/need and how large the servers are. But normally you can stack a lot of servers in one rack. More than by using plates in your rack to put in desktop servers.

It depends on the racks you use and the environment the racks are placed if it is efficient to put your servers in racks.

You need to look at things like KVM switches or remote access to the servers so you don't need to have a monitor/keyboard/mouse for every server.

We use almost solely rack mounted servers, so we can put multiple servers in one rack.
All servers have cards or connections to make it possible to manage the machines remotely, so we don't have to access the computerrooms for most actions.

Hope this answers your questions.
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Thomas Dunlap
Occasional Visitor

Re: Rack mount servers benefits over desktop servers

Many say that rack mounting consolidates all the problems into one location. For the most part you know that the problem exists in the rack.

We used to have desktops and the single biggest problem was that even authorized people would be making changes to hardware etc.

Once all was place in a rack and the doors locked many problems disappeared. Trust me the extra cost of the rackmount server is nothing compared to a network outage.

Management becomes easy using a KVM based equipment monitoring system. Just removing 5 keyboard/monitors and mice is a blessing.

Also consider using a cable managment system in the rack, patch panels and label all the cables. A wiring diagram is also a must.

Good luck