Published (again)

I had an article published over at, a datacenter industry website. You can read it here:

1U Servers Do Not Provide Greater Density

My article has gotten a few comments already, but I suspect it will get busier tomorrow when their mailing hits. We’ll see.

In our facility a row holds twelve racks. Twelve racks can (theoretically) house five hundred and four servers. 504. If we used nothing but 1U servers, and they were all Apple Xserves or Dell 1950s, or similar length boxes, we would LOSE space for THREE THOUSAND TWENTY FOUR servers. You read that right, 3024 FEWER servers because we have to expand the width between ROWS of racks.

Note to the hardware designers at Apple, Dell et. al.:

RACKSPACE is cheap. Datacenter FLOORSPACE is expensive.
VERY expensive.

These nimrods need to pull their heads out and shorten up these boxes. 2U x 18″ x18″ is ideal, and far preferable to the 1U X 18″ X 30+” stuff they are selling today.

I want my floorspace back.

5 thoughts on “Published (again)”

  1. But once again, this isn’t going to change much until large colocation companies stop charging by the rack unit. This is slowly changing with most of the cost going toward power, but most of the big guys still ding you for 2U, much less 4.

  2. Charging by rackunit is logical, in a certain sense, since it is a standard unit of measure. It really should have included depth however, or at least limited it to a maximum. 19″ would have been perfect, as then we could have had a “rack” be a square unit of measure.


  3. Um, as a *complete* idiot about all this, I have one question: Can the servers be made as short as you wish them to be, and still maintain the amount of power/data storage/however it’s measured as required/requested? Seems to me, a TOTALLY ignorant lay-dude, that they make them as powerful as they are asked to and fit them in the space needed for that given amount of data storage/useability. Education, please!

  4. Paul: the simple answer is “Yes” … BUT (there is always a “but”) it can’t fit within the 1U (1.75″) height that is all the rage among server manufacturers. Hence my call for more 2U (“3.5”) high servers.


Comments are closed.