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The Server – The Commodity wonder child of the Data Center
The online world depends on Data Centers. They occupy large building spaces that house servers and the accompanying storage and network. Servers take the center stage when it comes to the online experience. They are known as service-driven, application-specific computing machines that are highly adaptable. They are reliable and capable of virtualization and consolidation, making daily operations simpler for network and database administrators.
This article explores some of the key characteristics of servers.
Servers host various client-based services. Most popular among these services are email, file sharing, web hosting (DNS), proxy, network device management (DHCP), video streaming, and desktop/graphics virtualization. . A server can also take charge of internal Data Center functions such as database management, remote monitoring, security, operations, storage/network virtualization, capacity planning, and infrastructure optimization.
When grouped together in a redundant cluster configuration, commodity servers guarantee 99% uptime availability to carry out mission-critical, business-critical, and disaster recovery operations.
Form factors like rack servers are now consolidated to blade type architectures. The space a rack server occupies within a rack is sufficient to fit several blades. This process of consolidation aims at centralized management and resource efficiency. Also noteworthy is the Hyper Converged architecture which brings server, storage, and networking functions together inside a bare metal unit.
To further bring down physical hardware usage, servers host virtualization software that emulates the function of a server itself. A lot of these emulations run on a physical machine and are known as a Virtual Machines (VM) and Containers. Each VM can host a specific application. x86-based server farms house hundreds of servers, each producing thousands of VMs. Likewise, servers also run software that emulates networking as well as storage components.
Modern server technologies
Data Center administrators involved in routine decision making are now offloading this task to modern intelligent servers that run AIOps (or AI for IT operations). Using Artificial Intelligence, they monitor, map, and learn management metrics to develop and execute decisions with accuracy far beyond human capability. On the client side, they use neural networks to deep learn on Big Data to make decisions at blinding speeds. GPUs beat CPUs when it comes to neural-network processing, so we are seeing a roll out of GPU-based server units for this purpose.
These commodity servers have stood the test of time. Operated in clusters, they have given rise to modern super computers. They have rivaled the capability of Unix-based high performance mainframe systems in parallel processing. They are intelligent enough to bypass manual intervention in Data Center management.
Amphenol ICC’s lineup of standardized server connectors is known for its speed, integrity, and reliability in blade, server, and hyper converged designs. The next generation DDR4 and DDR5 memory connectors are deployed to meet the growing high-speed requirements of the modern server. Likewise, the standard PCI Express® Gen 4 / 5 connectors transfer data in and out of processing units with speeds that are clocked up to 32Gb/s. The proprietary Cool Edge connector meet PCIe requirements in a slimmer form factor, and with hybrid signal+power capabilities, is ideal for space-constrained and power-hungry GPU servers. It is also ready to be designed into new generation servers touting the latest EDSFF and Gen-Z protocols. The compact M.2 connector services non-volatile memory and add-in-card modules with PCIe Gen 4 16Gb/s speeds. The QSFP DD High Speed I/O connectors take data out of the box with density double that of the previous generation products. Our products are future-ready to be a part of the continuously evolving Data Center server.
Check out the quick slide summary below.