Server Form Factors
Servers come in all shapes, sizes, and designs. However, the structure or form factor of servers typically falls into three types.
A rack server is a general-purpose, mountable, and rectangular machine that stacks neatly into metal rack frames, thus optimizing space usage.
Read more: Top Rack Servers of 2021
A blade server houses multiple modular circuit boards called blades that don’t need CPUs, network controllers, and memory while also fitting in a rack frame.
Read more: Best Blade Servers for 2021
A tower server is a lightweight, stand-alone chassis often used by small businesses for its strong configuration and customization features.
Read more: What Is a Tower Server?
For a full breakdown of how servers differ by structure, read our guide to Blade Servers vs Rack Servers vs Tower Servers.
Other Types of Servers
Foundational to networks, domain controllers store the Active Directory and AD tools to manage users, permissions, devices, and group policies.
Adjacent to the domain controller, Domain Name Service (DNS) servers resolve the conversion of names into IP addresses for network systems.
A Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server automatically assigns network devices with the router, gateway address, DNS address, and IP address data.
The more extensive your network, the more likely you are to need an update server (or patch server) devoted to deploying updates. Patches resolve bugs and vulnerabilities and deliver new features for apps.
Connecting with a Private Branch Exchange (PDX), a phone server (or VoIP server) enables phone switching devices for managing internet-phone networks.
Less common because of cloud solutions, email servers host email data. Examples of email servers would include SMTP relay or Microsoft Exchange Server.
A monitoring server handles the job of scanning the network and monitoring equipment health, as well as specs like CPU, RAM, and hardware space.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) servers, or building security servers, store audio, video, and sensor data related to the physical security of organization premises.
A terminal server, or remote desktop server, enables remote users to access network resources for business continuity.
Load Balancing Server
For websites, applications, and software with varying and intensive workloads, load balancing servers can reallocate demands between other servers.
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