E-Handbook: Advances in server hardware components speed up data centers Article 1 of 4

Server hardware advancements create processing possibilities

There is no doubt that servers are the heart of any data center. Without them, a data center would be akin to having a car without an engine. Yes, there are other components that help everything run, but without a central processing mechanism, it's just a lot of metal sitting around.

As data centers grow to meet more data-intensive applications and support larger, more diverse infrastructures, having the right server hardware components is paramount. This process starts with vendor hardware evaluation.

When you assess the latest offerings from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel, you must brush up on technology advancements. Most organizations don't replace all their server hardware components annually, so you'll discover new architectures, processing speeds and power requirements -- especially if your servers have been around for five years or more.

Even though CPU-based servers are the data center industry processing standard, new technology is becoming more accessible. The emergence of GPUs as suitable server hardware for uses such as AI and machine learning is changing how managers configure the data center and support greater processing power.

But the selection process is just the beginning of keeping servers operational. Resource management, upgrade planning and maintenance for both hardware and software are no easy tasks as enterprise data centers often employ a hodgepodge of infrastructure.

This handbook offers an overview of how server hardware components have evolved, what's available in the market in 2020, the different types of hardware architectures and how to effectively maintain your servers to maximize their lifespans.

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