How to Pick Between Rack Servers and Blade Servers

There are three main types of servers: tower, rack, and blade servers. When a tower server doesn't provide enough data processing, memory, or storage space, it may be time to think about upgrading. Rack servers and blade servers both provide solutions, but it's important to know the differences to determine which is best for your needs.

What is a Rack Server?

Rack servers are specifically designed to be mounted within a server rack. Rack servers are general-purpose machines that are highly configurable to support a wide range of applications. Unlike traditional tower servers, they are wider so that they can be mounted into the rack, one on top of the other. Rack servers are secured with screws or rails, depending on the design. The size of rack servers varies greatly. 

Rack servers are built with everything needed to run as a standalone system. They can be very powerful, too; additional memory, storage, and processors can be installed. Rack servers take up less space than tower servers and offer a cost-effective solution for small to medium deployments. It is worth noting that while rack servers have greater energy efficiency, they require additional cooling units, which increases energy costs.

What is a Blade Server?

A blade server is an enclosure that houses several modular circuit boards called server blades. Most server blades contain only CPUs, memory, and network controllers. Some may also contain internal storage drives. The other components, such as video cards, switches, and power connectors, are shared through the server chassis. As a result, blade servers reduce power consumption.

In many cases, the chassis provides power to multiple blade servers. A big advantage to blade servers is that they can be hot-swappable; the blades can be pulled and replaced without powering down the entire system. In addition, blade servers provide high processing power, making them ideal for use in large data centers. 

Blade servers are multi-purpose, able to host operating systems, databases, and enterprise-level applications. While blade servers offer the greatest processing power in the smallest space, they may also require advanced climate controls to keep them running smoothly. As a result, the upfront cost of blade servers can be higher, but it is reasonable with its simplified management interfaces, lower energy consumption, and smaller space requirements.


Choosing between rack servers and blade servers depends on the server requirements. Rack servers store several general-use servers efficiently, while blade servers are specially designed units for high processing power. Whichever you decide to use, or if you still can't decide, MGI can help you make the right decision. Click here to contact MGI today, and we will answer any questions you have.