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okay..im really sorry for this noob question..but..in a server room..do all the servers function as one server? is it like a bunch of computers doing the same think (like a cluster supercomputer) and how do they communicate with each other? i have been looking everywhere on the internet but i still cant figure out how server rooms work...please help..im really sorry for the noob question

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3 Answers 3

in a server room..do all the servers function as one server?

In your closet where you store your clothes, do all the trowsers work like one trowers?

The definition of a server room is: A room for servers. Mostly to keep them in a controlled environment (cooled, controlling who can steal them etc.).

There is NOTHING more in the definition of a server room. It is simply a room for servers.

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But only you wear all the clothes in your closet. Do servers in the same server room serve to only one client? –  Peter Ajtai Jun 26 '10 at 5:37
Maybe, Maybe not. Depends. Doesa closet only have stuff for one person? Seriously, what are you talking about? Server room in a company? LIKELY one client. Server room for a hosting center - likely one client per x servers. Not defined. –  TomTom Jun 26 '10 at 7:36
one more question..whats the difference between a server OS and desktop OS –  user46869 Jun 28 '10 at 0:01
THat one is for desktop use, the other for server use. –  TomTom Jun 28 '10 at 4:44

That depends on the particular group of servers you're looking at. It could be Ethernet, Infiniband, FibreChannel, fiber optics -- practically anything connecting the servers together.

Usually servers perform distinct tasks unless you are really talking about a cluster designed to be a supercomputer (though VMWare & friends has blurred that line recently because a given workload can be moved around between different physical servers with impunity). Applications which wish to make full use of the processing power offered by that many machines needs to be specifically engineered to allow distributed computing of that sort -- they operate just as if you'd install that application on hundreds of desktop machines.

Really, there's little difference between desktop hardware and server hardware except that server hardware is much more expensive, and much more reliable, and much faster.

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so do all the servers in a server room do different things? –  user46869 Jun 26 '10 at 2:40
@user46869 Not necessarily. Like Billy said, it depends on the requirements. If the owner of the data center needs a cluster/distributed computing environment, then many of the machines may be doing the same thing. If that's not a requirement, then many will be doing different things. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to your question. –  EEAA Jun 26 '10 at 2:54
server hardware is not necessarily faster than desktop hardware. It is usually more reliable, usually more expensive, and usually includes much more robust remote management/monitoring hardware (iLOM, ipmi, etc) than their desktop counterparts. –  EEAA Jun 26 '10 at 2:55
@ErikA: I was thinking mainly of hard drives -- 15k RPM drives are common for servers, but you'll rarely see them in a desktop. Servers usually also have extensive RAID arrays. But for things like CPU performance, true, servers aren't that much faster other than that server boards often take more than one CPU at a time. –  Billy ONeal Jun 26 '10 at 2:56
But I know quite some server rooms without 15k hard drives ;) Somebelonging to smaller hosters (large+cheap drives, please), one to myself (I rather go 10k velociraptor + if needed a SSD cache). –  TomTom Jun 26 '10 at 9:20

All the servers in one server room are merely sharing in a facility that is (well should be) optimal for server use - a secure, temperature controlled environment, ideally with fire suppression and environmental monitoring.

They might or might not be working together in a cluster. More likely is that while there might well be machines in some kind of cluster arrangement in a server room, it would only be some of them, not all of them. Possibly these days its more common than people might think at first if one considers all the host servers in a virtualisation array as "clustered together" doing the same thing.

There's nothing inherent in a server room that makes a difference one way or another as to whether or not all or some of the servers inside it are in a cluster.

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