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What Are The Different Server Types That Are Commonly Used?

Updated: August 16, 2016

There are several server types on the market, and each one provides a unique set of capabilities for a company. Because of this, business owners need to carefully consider what hardware they are bringing into the company.Fortunately, this is something that an industry expert can offer valuable insight with, and some dealers can even customize hardware to fit a company’s needs exactly. This extends beyond the hardware’s intended purpose, and also includes a perfect form factor and model type for the job.

What are some of the most common server types on the market?

As this hardware is the backbone of any network, and networks are now ubiquitous throughout the corporate world, it follows that there are many, many kinds of equipment available. Some of the most common include:

• Web hardware – This hardware stores static content on a disk and delivers it when a visitor queries something on a website. The hardware and the browser communicate using HTTP.
• FTP hardware – File Transfer Protocol has been around for decades, and provides a secure channel and organization when a user needs to move files from one device to another. This hardware facilitates the transfer.
• Mail hardware – Mail hardware is a critical element of every business’s communications, as it organizes and sends out mail to employees and recipients outside the network.
• Database hardware – Database hardware is the workhorse of the network, as it collects, stores and analyzes data. Databases are usually set up to automate a variety of archiving and organizational tasks, both of which are essential for many user applications.
• Application hardware – Typically viewed as a form of middleware, application hardware is what connects users and databases together and ensures software can be executed properly and reliably.
• Virtual hardware – Virtual hardware functions much like standard hardware, except that multiple virtual instances can be tied to a single piece of equipment. This allows a company greater flexibility in how it allocates its resources and organizes its data.

These are the basic server types that may be adapted for a company’s use, but there is more to consider. Hardware also comes in several form factors, and each one provides varying levels of performance, scalability, and cost. Towers, for example, are the most economical, but take up the most space and aren’t as scalable as other options. That’s why towers are usually used for smaller businesses. Racks strike a balance between performance and scalability, and consist of a mount onto which several pieces of equipment are secured. The rack keeps cables organized and consolidates power and cooling. Racks are similar to blades, which are even more compact and designed to scale up quickly as a company’s needs change. Racks and blades tend to be the choice in enterprise applications.

There are a lot of choices to make when searching through server types and form factors. It’s not a search a business has to make along, though, as long as they have a reputable expert on their side.