China servers hardware explained (part 1)

February 10, 2017

This article is designed to teach beginners about China servers hardware and also talks about server form factors.

Server form factor    

The term form factor describes the physical standards and dimensions used by many different system components and by the computer. To give you a more example, many PCs use a form factor called standard ATX. A standard ATX case can accommodate any standard ATX system board and power supply, even if they are created by a different provider.


Another common PC standard is Micro ATX. Many standardized ATX computer cases are created to accept either standard ATX or Micro ATX system boards, but a Micro ATX case could not accommodate a standard ATX system board since Micro ATX cases use a smaller form factor.

The server form factor applies to server hardware as well, but china dedicated servers typically adhere to different form factors than PCs. There are many form factors used for network servers, but the 3 most popular form factors are tower servers, rack servers and blade servers.

Tower servers

Tower servers look a lot like PCs. Each tower server is an independent machine that is built into an upright case.

Tower servers are used mostly in smaller data centers. Larger data centers typically avoid the use of tower servers because of the amount of physical space which they consume and because they tend to be noisy.


Another disadvantage to using tower servers is that the cabling can get messy. Server racks and blade server chassis usually have functions that are created to manage cables, but tower servers have no such features.

Rack servers

As the name implies, rack servers are servers which are mounted within a rack. It is of a uniform width and servers are mounted to the rack using screws. Each rack can accommodate many servers and the servers are stacked on top of each other.

Due to racks are designed to accommodate standard sized components, many hardware vendors offer rack mountable networking components other than servers. For example there are rack mountable network appliances and rack mountable switches.


Rack mount components follow a form factor which is referred to as a rack unit. A standard rack mount server is referred to as a 1U server meaning that it’s 1 rack unit in size. A 2U server consumes 2 rack units of space within the rack. Some providers also offer 4U and ½U servers. The larger form factors are often used when the server needs to accommodate a large amount of storage.


Now that I have introduced you to the form factors used by cheap servers China, I want to turn my attention to some other server hardware components.