Updated: October 20, 2017
There are several top server brands that can provide a business with the infrastructure they need for their network. Dell, HP, Cisco, and Oracle all offer excellent hardware options, combining superb reliability with the most current customization and software choices. And, of course, they are the fastest and most scalable products around, so they can be fitted into any business application, no matter its size or nature. But perhaps the most impressive element of these products is their longevity. Whereas inferior hardware will become obsolete within a few years of its production, a premium manufacturer builds its equipment to last. This means that used and refurbished versions of the hardware can still provide excellent performance.
What are the top server brands a business should consider?
HP, Dell, Oracle and Cisco should be at the top of the shopping list when looking for hardware, whether new or refurbished. All four have a reputation for producing quality equipment, though they are often known for other technologies as well. Cisco, for example, made its name in network management hardware, with the best routers and switches in the business.
HP's Proliant line of hardware was developed by Compaq, back before it merged with HP. It is consistently the best selling line of equipment every year, making it perhaps the most trusted line of hardware on the market. Perhaps the most respected products in the Proliant line are the DL360p G6, G7 or Gen8. They are popular choices for businesses looking for a refurbished option, and feature Intel's respected processor technology. The Gen8 is built with a robust Xeon E5-2600 processor, which can be fitted with anywhere from 4 to 12 processor cores. This makes it a compact 1U piece of hardware that can be built with as much as 768 GB of RAM, giving it a lot of punch for such a small package.
Dell's PowerEdge is right there with HP's Proliant line for top server brands. It is constantly being added to, so refurbished PowerEdge options are comparable in performance to the newer generations that other manufacturers put out. It offers superb 1U and 2U options in the R410, R610, R710 and R810, and with the R420, R620, R720 and R820, which were released in 2012. The R820 is one of the most robust pieces of equipment on the market, offering as much as 1.5 TB of memory in a 2U form factor.
Cisco's Unified Computing Systems (UCS) are relatively new to the market, but Cisco has plenty of experience working with network infrastructure. Its M-series is designed to be as modular as possible, primarily by disaggregating its secondary systems, like power and cooling. This is ideal for businesses that expect to scale up, as it is extremely simple to add on to.
Oracle hardware is known for its strong, built-in security systems and uses a proprietary version of Linux known as Solaris, though some of its hardware is formatted for x86 applications. Its SPARC line of hardware is the company's premium line and can be scaled up to a TB of RAM and with some of the best processors on the market. That makes Oracle's equipment among the most powerful technologies in the industry.
A company can't go wrong with any of these manufacturers, whether it's just hitting its first spurt of growth or sitting at the top as an industry leader.