Rack mounted servers have become staple modular computing units in data centers and enterprises. All rack server configurations revolve around the industry-standard U chassis size, and each rack server sold in the market comes in a U size. Servers in the 1U size are a basic building block to scale up a data center. For example, uniform 1U servers can be used in a cloud server cluster. Additional 1U servers can be added to the cluster when the cluster needs to scale up to support an increase in the number of users. Server 1U configurations come with many features and capabilities. Accordingly, there are inherent advantages in deploying 1U servers over other sizes on a server rack.
Configurations in the 1U chassis size are versatile. With the performance goals defined for a server and the right mix of components in the chassis, a 1U server can have as much or more processing power and storage capacity as servers in larger chassis.Some benefits of a server 1U configuration are:
Low Cost — A 1U size server is generally cheaper to acquire and operate. Because there are less components, power consumption is lower than larger servers. Additionally, many components in a server 1U configuration are designed to be power efficient which adds to operational cost savings. A 1U chassis also occupies less space on server racks leading to savings in rack rental costs.
High performance — Advances in technology have resulted in smaller motherboards, power supplies, drives, and processors. Depending on the particular server 1U configuration, the computing power of a 1U sized server today can be equal to or greater than that of a 2U or larger server. Certainly, the continued miniaturization of hardware components and improvements in server architecture will further increase the performance of 1U servers.
Flexibility — Server 1U configurations are available in short depth chassis. Each short depth chassis is shallower than the more common full depth chassis that occupies the full U space on a server rack. This enables greater space savings on server racks. Short depth chassis configurations include less components such as drives to achieve the smaller footprint. In such cases, storage capacity can be provided by other servers such as in NAS. For more performance, computing density in a 1U chassis can be increased. Full depth 1U configurations can contain two server nodes in one chassis, and each server node can contain dual CPUs. This twin server node configuration is appropriate for high performance applications. The wide variety of configuration options available for 1U servers make them highly flexible.
As an industry-leading white box server supplier, Thinkmate makes available a wide range of server configurations in 1U chassis size. Its RAX line of rack mount servers has close to thirty server 1U systems available for configuration. As a Supermicro reseller, Thinkmate also offers a wide variety of 1U servers from Supermicro. Over one hundred Supermicro 1U server systems are available for configuration from the SuperServer® range. These include Supermicro 1U short depth systems each running one Intel® Atom™ CPU to Supermicro 1U full depth systems running four multi-core Intel Xeon® or AMD Opteron™ CPUs. In addition to the large number of 1U configurations, SuperServer systems are also available up to 5U chassis size. For example, close to sixty Supermicro 2U server systems are available for configuration.