Silent Servers

Hush little server fan, don’t you whine…

Small, noisy fans make a server sound like a jet engine. We don’t like that. We design all of our servers to be as quiet as possible. When it comes to 1U rackmounts, the requisite 40mm fans simply can’t be made quiet – we encourage you to write to your congress-person to repeal the laws of physics if this fact also keeps you up at night. However, all of our 2U and larger rackmount servers, tower, and portable designs use 80mm – 120mm fans (and sometimes larger) and in some cases sound-dampening foam, to keep noise levels to a minimum. The majority of our servers are no louder than a standard desktop computer. However, when it comes to your home theater system or recording studio, even a gentle hum won’t do – you need a silent server.

There’s only one way to build a truly silent server: no moving parts. While we have built solid state drive (SSD) servers for fun in our lab, they aren’t terribly cost-effective at the moment…give it a few years and you’ll probably see them among our standard wares. At the moment, we use the term ‘silent’ to mean really, really, incredibly quiet. We tried to run some scientific(ish) sound tests to get the actual decibel readings, but didn’t have an anechoic chamber handy, and the sound of the AC, fridge, etc. kept drowning out the sound of the server. Simply put, unless you use the server as a pillow (which will almost certainly void your warranty) you will not hear it running.

Shhh… Do you hear that? No? Exactly… ::sunglasses::