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What is a High-Density Server?

A server is basically a computer that receives, processes and sends information to other 'client’ computers. Such a computer must have immense computing abilities as it must handle a high volume of requests from multiple clients, simultaneously. Therefore, a server needs lots of memory and a large amount of space.

If you want to increase a regular server’s computing power, you need to add more area (basically, increase the size of your server room). This is cumbersome and expensive. For starters, office space is valuable and secondly, you might have to make renovations or modifications to your property to accommodate a larger computer.

Thankfully, there is a better alternative – a high density server. As the name suggests, a high density server can process and store large amounts of data without the need for physical expansion. Instead of having a larger volume, it has a higher density – figuratively speaking.

Earlier, if a data center wanted to live up to the increasing demands of new and existing clients, it had to add more floor space. Often, this required acquisition and relocation to a bigger property – a very impractical and costly approach. Today, data centers are upgrading to high density servers as it enables them to save money, increase productivity and reduce environmental impact.

Upgradation involves implementation of larger amounts of electricity as the per cabinet consumption of high density servers is much higher than that of a legacy server. Traditional servers that were built as few as five years ago have a per cabinet power consumption of 2 to 4 kiloWatts. This number is 12kW (or even greater) for high density servers. It is important to note that even though the power consumption is higher, the overall efficiency is much, much better, especially considering the ever-burgeoning computing needs of the world.

Another crucial aspect of upgradation is the installation of high end cooling systems. Processors that consume lots of power generate more heat. Advance cooling systems help to maintain optimum temperature and prevent damage that may be caused by overheating.

Normally, high power consumption and cooling requirements are interpreted in a negative manner. For example: If a car engine offers poor mileage and heats up quickly, it will not have many takers. However, when it comes to servers, higher use of electricity and advanced cooling needs are both very, very good. They’re even good for the environment! They save space, time, money and reduce overall carbon footprint.    

High density servers offer flexibility and customizability. The best high density servers incorporate a 'hot-swappable’ design. This accounts for faster, simpler maintenance. They are also prepared for future growth and facilitate easy and cost-effective expansion.

Processor density has greatly increased within the past decade. Single and dual core processors were the norm just a few years ago. Today, the trend has shifted to quad and octa-core technology – even for day-to-day desktop computers and laptops. Todays mobile phones have more powerful processors than ten year old desktops. There is also a marked difference in size. Processors are several times smaller than they were and also quite energy efficient.

High density servers are the future of computing. It will be impossible to host such humongous amounts of data without them. Networks, including the internet will literally fall to pieces without high density computing. Regular servers are already becoming outdated and in a few years, they’ll become completely obsolete and incompatible with other modern systems.

Consider the case of one Fortune 500 company: The older (read regular) server consumed 60% of the total power and only carried out contributed 4% in terms of computing. High density servers consumed 40% of power while doing 96% of the work!

Storage is getting way bigger with each passing day. It is also getting a lot faster and most importantly, the chasm between memory and storage is narrowing. This is because of the rising popular of flash memory in servers and also otherwise.

RAM (Random Access Memory) is very fast and powerful. However, it is not always practical as it requires a continuous supply of electricity. As soon as the power is switched off, RAM becomes defunct. ROM (Read Only Memory) is a lot slower than RAM but it has one major advantage – the information is not lost when the current is turn off. Flash has certain characteristics of both RAM and ROM. Just like RAM, flash too is fast, although not as fast as the former. It is fast enough to get the job done without any significant delay – depending upon the application.

Flash memory can remember data even without continuous power supply – just like ROM. However, FLASH is an advanced type of ROM, known as EEPROM, which stands for Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory. This means that flash can be erased – information can be deleted and rewritten. Your mobile phone has a memory card that uses flash storage. It can store several gigabytes of data even though it is very small in size. The data is not lost even when the phone runs out of juice. It can be accessed anytime. You can delete images, videos and other files easily and replace them with something else (erasable memory).

Unlike a hard drive, which has spinning disks, a flash memory card has no moving parts – everything functions purely electronically. This accounts for faster processing of data while using up much less electricity. A hard disk drive has mechanical parts that move(the disk spins) – this causes wear and tear and the information is processed much slower.

Thanks to its ease of use, flash memory has becoming almost synonymous with storage, including storage in high density servers. As mentioned above, high density heat up on account of the colossal amounts of data that they process in a very small frame of time. It is not uncommon for data centers to operate at temperatures of 80 to 90 Degrees Fahrenheit or even higher. However, these high temperature do not affect the hardware and reliability of servers. State-of-the-art cooling systems funnel air, operating just like a jet engine, to keep the servers cool, even under considerable stress!

Premio Inc is a top producer of high density servers that cater to a variety of business needs. If you want more in-depth information regarding this subject, then give us a call or send us an email and find out why so many choose us over our competition!