What is a White Box Server?
A white box server refers to customized servers that are either home built, or built by white box suppliers called ODMs (Original Design Manufacturers) such as Supermicro. The term white box simply means that the equipment is unbranded or generic. All parts are purchased separately which helps cut costs as well as provides hobbyists and data center professionals alike more customization to better fit their needs. The ease of customization allows for individual parts to be replaced, rather than replacing the entire server when equipment fails. White box servers are increasingly being used by the Open Computer Project (OCP) which was developed by Facebook.
The drawback of choosing a white box server over a standard OEM server, is that they are less reliable and the components often lack redundancy. White box servers lower their risks of downtime by using clustering techniques for deployment. A cluster enables high availability in a computer system by grouping servers together to act like as a single system. With this in mind, a company should do a strong evaluation on the pros in cons of deploying white box servers to ensure that it is actually cost-effective.
Because of the diversity in shapes and sizes of white box servers, getting one to fit in a server rack isn’t always easy. Many of our customers are looking for ways to rackmount their white box servers without the use of OEM rails. RackSolutions is no stranger to white box servers, providing ODM’s such as Supermicro with rail kits to fit their servers. With white box servers in mind, we offer several solutions to this problem with our shelves and universal rail kits. Our universal rail kits allow almost any server with any form factor to be mounted to almost any standard 19” rack. We offer universal rail kits in 1U, 2U, and 3U sizes, allowing almost any configuration at varying weight capacities up to 200 lbs and depths ranging from 10” to 39.5”. We also offer rail kits that allow your white box server to be mounted to 2 Post racks. Our universal rail kits come included with cabling cross bars for easy and effective cable management.