Entry Level/Workgroup Server

Server hardware on the market

From the early days of Novell NetWare-based file servers to today's client/server oriented market, server hardware has really matured. Now, server hardware is predominantly designed to meet specific application needs.

Nevertheless, three simple factors continue to differentiate a server from other computer systems:

  • Performance: Essential to provide acceptable levels of service to multiple users, a server can include performance boosting features such as multiple CPUs, high-performance disk systems, and loads of RAM.

  • Scalability: The flexibility to add CPUs, RAM, hard disk storage and more in order to cope with increased load or new applications.

  • Reliability and redundancy: If a desktop machine fails, one user is affected. If a server fails, the whole company might be stopped. Components with high MTBF (mean time between failure) figures and redundant components for when they do fail can keep your business up and running.

There are servers that are designed to be used for high-availability, heavy use data centres, servers designed for workgroups or small/medium business, servers designed to maximize the amount of computing power that can be housed in 19in computer racks, and even server clusters to deliver massive computational power.

Rack mounted servers: While pretty much all servers today can be mounted in 19in computer racks, 'rack mounted servers' are designed to use the minimum amount of space possible.

Rack mounted server

Generally one or two rack units high (there are 42 units in a full rack) they range in capabilities from medium to high performance computing. The thinner, one -rack unit systems (1.75in) usually have very limited space for disk drives and little room for expansion. Many organizations deploy these rack servers in the computer rooms where space is limited, or in co-location premises where space is paid for by the rack-unit. The premium paid for their small size is generally easily made up for the space and/or cost saving.

Blade servers: A Blade server is a computer system on a motherboard that contains one or many CPUs and memory.

Blade server

The thin design allows more computing power to be packed into a smaller space than typical 1U rack servers. These servers are made up of a blade server chassis, into which server 'blades' are inserted. Usually these blades can be added and removed as required, while the system is still switched on. This makes them well suited to high-availability server systems. The complexity of connectivity and cabling is also reduced for these systems. A premium is paid for these capabilities.

Entry-level/workgroup servers: these are generally housed in what most users would recognize as 'server' boxes. They are not overly large; however; little premium is placed on their compact size. They can generally support significant internal expansion hardware including disk drives.

Entry level server

Large organisations will likely deploy most of these server types to provide their computing infrastructure. Rack and blade servers will be used in major office computer rooms, and co-location installations. Rack and entry-level workgroup servers will be used in remote or satellite offices.

Small and medium organizations will tend toward entry-level and workgroup servers and lower-end rack servers.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Staff Writers

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?