What is the Difference between a High and Low-Density Server?

20 April 2021

As of 2016, the officially accepted standards for high density server data centers are where each cabinet consumes more than 10kW of energy. It means that the measurement of a data center is the amount of energy consumed per square foot of the floor space and is expresses ad watts per square foot. Anything below this threshold limit of 10kW is a low-density server or data center. It is still a flexible threshold as due to constant changes in hardware technology, this limit may again rise further.

It is now common to see racks ranging from 11kW to 20kW being used in businesses worldwide, with specialized data centers handling a range of high-performance computing applications. It is also becoming common in developed countries to find racks with an even higher density, like 25kW to 40kW.

High-Density Data Centers

It is all about packing the amount of power that data centers can place within a defined small space. In high-density data, a phenomenal amount of data is packed in a tiny space, reducing the cost of space. In most developed cities and towns, space can be a big factor in determining the data center's overall cost. In other words, the more racks are placed, the better is the operational cost of the data center.

In low-density racks, the cost may be a factor as you need to add more racks as demand goes up. This may be very costly and unsustainable as in towns and cities, rental and real estate space is very high. On the other hand, if you have already started with a high density server, then you gain immensely because you only need fever racks to handle all operations. It also means that you need less space.

Thus, it is always better to go for high-density racks than low-density racks as, despite huge energy consumption and cooling the system, only a few such racks are needed.

Keeping Up with Demands of the Digital Age

It is predicted that there will be enormous demand for data for large, medium, and small businesses in the future. Experts feel that instead of cumbersome and inefficient hardware performance of low-density data centers, a high density server is a right answer for the digital age. Only such high-density racks can support the phenomenal demand for data and scale computing.

High-density racks are more expensive, yet the best part is that businesses can recover their investment several times over time as their performances and efficiency are also at their peak. Many businesses outsource these high-density racks systems as they take up very little space compared to low-density racks. Hence, this makes financial sense to these enterprises too.

It is cheaper for large and medium enterprises to pool their hardware innovation and designing of racks. As you are already aware, a data center rack consists of a steel and electronic framework designed to house servers, several cables, networking devices, and other computing equipment. Hence creating a common pool reduces costs significantly while managing data and hardware, and this is possible with high-density racks only.