Service & Reliability Survey 2010: Servers

Summary:We asked our readers whose servers they buy, what goes wrong with them, how good is the technical support the receive, and more.


Which vendors do you use for servers?
We received information on servers from 32 respondents. On average, the organisations they worked for used two (1.97) vendors each, giving a total of 63 responses. Only two vendors, HP and Dell, received more than 15 responses:

Other vendors cited: Virtual Machine Company

Which operating systems are installed on your servers?
Windows Server 2003 is the most prevalent operating system in our survey sample: 8 respondents (25 percent of the sample) report that WS 2003 is installed on 'all' of their servers. Windows Server 2008 is also well represented, followed by various flavours of Linux and Unix. Mac OS X Server, by contrast, barely registers here.

Other operating systems installed:, IBM AS/400, OpenVMS, Microsoft Terminal Services, Solaris, THEOS, Windows 2000

When it comes to virtualisation, hypervisors from VMware and Citrix are better represented than Microsoft's Hyper-V — as might be expected given the length of time these companies have been in this market. It'll be interesting to see how this pattern develops in the future:

Other operating systems installed:, IBM AS/400, OpenVMS, Microsoft Terminal Services, Solaris, THEOS, Windows 2000

Which server form factors are deployed?
Rack-mounted and traditional tower-format servers are more prevalent in our survey than space-and power-efficient blade servers. Over time, we expect blade servers to increase in frequency at the expense of tower systems.

What are the points of failure on your servers?
Servers are designed to run mission-critical business applications and services, so reliability is an absolute must. But, like any other computer, servers occasionally fail. We asked about nine potential points of failure and found that six — power supply, disk subsystem, software & drivers, cooling system, motherboard (CPU, RAM, chipset) and network adapters — rated at least one mention in the 'very common' or 'common' categories:

Rare points of failure in servers are the ports, expansion slots and system case:

Topics: Servers, Reviews


Hello, I'm the Reviews Editor at ZDNet UK. My experience with computers started at London's Imperial College, where I studied Zoology and then Environmental Technology. This was sufficiently long ago (mid-1970s) that Fortran, IBM punched-card machines and mainframes were involved, followed by green-screen terminals and eventually the pers... Full Bio

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