These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.
Rack Servers TrustMap
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.
The Cisco UCS Series is a modular, high-density, high-availability, dual-node storage- optimized server suited for service providers, enterprises, and industry-specific environments. It provides dense, cost-effective storage to address your ever-growing data needs. Designed for a…
Lenovo offers the ThinkSystem SR series of rack servers, offering a wide range of options boasting price, power, or low foot print as desired. Presently Lenovo's ThinkSystem series of rack servers includes the SR250, SR530, SR550, SR570, SR590, SR630, SR650, and the SR670.
The Cisco UCS X-Series is a modular system designed for adaptability to simplify IT processes and enable quick innovation. The flexibility of the system provides users with the right-size infrastructure for the workload and enables operations with the efficiency and predictable…
What are Rack Servers?
A server is a high powered computer designed to store, retrieve and send computer files and data. It processes requests from client computers or programs and delivers the data via the internet or local network. Rack servers, or rack-mounted servers, are servers that are designed to be installed in a low-profile enclosure (rack) designed to hold IT equipment.
These racks contain multiple vertical bays where the servers are installed, minimizing the need for floor space and simplifying supplying power; however cooling the confined space where the servers are crowded is a necessity. When a server is mounted in a rack, it is usually done so with a rail kit that allows the server to slide in and out of the rack to provide easy in-rack serviceability.
What is a Rack Unit?
A rack unit, designated as “U”, is a unit of measurement for standardizing rack servers, racks, and other rack-mounted IT equipment. A rack unit equals 1.75 inches or 44.45 mm. Standard rack heights are designated as 1U, 2U, 3U, and 4U (equal to 1.75”, 3.5”, 5.25”, and 7”). A 2U rack server will, therefore, have a height of 2.5 inches. There are three available widths of rack servers (19”, 23”, and 24”) but 19 inches wide is the most common.
Without delving too deeply into the mechanics of memory, installed server memory is usually SRAM, DRAM, or ECC. Static random access memory (SRAM) is the fastest and the RAM speed is expressed as DDR1, DDR2, etc. SRAM is usually not user replaceable. Dynamic access memory (DRAM) is less expensive but slightly slower than SRAM. It is also replaceable by the user. ECC stands for error-correcting code and has a self checking software that identifies and corrects any errors that might creep into volatile memory. ECC is a type of DRAM that user replaceable but must be compatible with other computer hardware.
Rack Servers Features & Capabilities
- Hot swapping - The capability to replace or add components without shutting down the system
- The ability to update software without a restart or reboot
- Advanced backup capability for frequent backup of critical data
- Redundant power supplies
- Advanced networking performance
- Automatic (invisible to the user) data transfer between devices.
- High security for resources, data and memory protection
- Powerful cooling fans or water cooling systems
- Advanced self-monitoring, such as overheating and disk failure
- Various Connectivity capabilities: USB, video, serial cable
- Number of processor cores - multiple cores speed up processing times and capabilities
The prices for rack servers vary greatly. The biggest specs that impact price include server speed, memory, storage capability, and integrated security features. Low end rack servers start around $1,000 and range to more than $70,000 for very high end enterprise level servers.
The following Rack Servers offer award-winning customer relationships, feature sets, and value for price. Learn more about our Best Of Awards methodology here.