Commodity Server

Definition of Commodity Server

A commodity server refers to an affordable, standardized, and mass-produced computing hardware system, typically used for common enterprise-level tasks like data storage, sharing, and processing. These servers offer basic functionalities and are designed for easy replacement or upgrades, contributing to cost reduction. Their standardized nature allows for simple integration and compatibility within various IT infrastructures.


The phonetic transcription for the keyword “Commodity Server” is: /kəˈmɒdəti ˈsɜːrvər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Commodity servers are cost-effective solutions that utilize off-the-shelf hardware components to meet the demands of various compute and storage needs.
  2. They enable businesses to quickly scale their infrastructure, as these servers can be easily added or removed based on workload requirements, allowing for greater flexibility and adaptability.
  3. Commodity servers often support industry standards and open-source software, which promotes ease of integration, interoperability, and customization for diverse IT environments.

Importance of Commodity Server

The term “commodity server” is important in the technology world because it refers to servers built from inexpensive, readily available, and standardized components.

These servers are crucial in catering to the needs of businesses and organizations of various sizes, as they offer scalable and cost-effective solutions.

Commodity servers enable organizations to build and maintain IT infrastructure affordably and efficiently, while meeting the ever-growing demands for computing power and storage.

Furthermore, due to their standard components and ubiquity, they offer increased flexibility, customizability, and ease of maintenance.

This fosters competition among manufacturers, driving innovation and improvements in server technology, ultimately resulting in greater returns on investment for businesses.


A commodity server plays an essential role in the realm of information technology, specifically in the area of network or data storage and management. The primary purpose of a commodity server is to offer organizations a cost-effective, yet reliable solution for their everyday computing needs and for addressing scalability concerns. These types of servers are constructed using off-the-shelf components that are readily available, standardized, and comparatively affordable.

Companies increasingly deploy commodity servers to strike a balance between controlling their IT expenditures and meeting their operational requirements as they handle routine tasks, manage data, and ensure the smooth functioning of business processes. Organizations can harness commodity servers to build an extensive, efficient, and interconnected computing infrastructure. They are widely used in data centers for web hosting, email hosting, and other enterprise applications.

The commoditized nature of their hardware enables a seamless integration with existing systems, providing companies the flexibility to scale up their infrastructure as their demands rise or alter components according to their evolving needs. Furthermore, the widespread availability of commodity servers and their components means that replacements can be swiftly located if any part fails or malfunctions, reducing downtime and maintenance costs. Thanks to these advantages, commodity servers have become the go-to choice for businesses striving to maintain an effective, scalable, and budget-conscious IT infrastructure.

Examples of Commodity Server

Dell PowerEdge Servers: Dell PowerEdge is a series of commodity servers designed for various enterprise applications with flexibility in storage options, power consumption, and performance. They are designed to be cost-effective and scalable, making them ideal for businesses of all sizes requiring efficient data storage and management.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) ProLiant Servers: HPE ProLiant servers are another popular choice when it comes to commodity servers. They offer an extensive range of server solutions, from high-density rack servers to tower servers and blade systems. HPE ProLiant servers are known for delivering reliable performance, energy efficiency, and innovative management features, suitable for diverse workloads and applications.

IBM Power Systems: IBM Power Systems are enterprise-level commodity servers designed to offer high levels of performance and reliability. These servers are built with IBM’s POWER processors and provide advanced virtualization features to allow businesses to scale and deploy applications more efficiently. IBM Power Systems are often used for running mission-critical applications, analytics, and other demanding workloads.

Commodity Server FAQ

What is a Commodity Server?

A commodity server is a low-cost, standardized server built with common off-the-shelf hardware components. These types of servers are designed to be affordable and efficient, making them a popular choice for organizations looking to minimize IT costs while still maintaining reliable performance.

What are the advantages of using a Commodity Server?

Commodity servers offer several advantages, including lower initial purchase cost, easier management, greater scalability, and better energy efficiency. By utilizing common hardware components and standardized features, organizations can save money on their IT infrastructure and simplify the maintenance process.

How do Commodity Servers differ from specialized servers?

Specialized servers are typically designed for specific use cases or industries and include custom-built hardware or software components. These types of servers can be more expensive and harder to maintain than commodity servers. In contrast, commodity servers use common, off-the-shelf hardware and are designed for general-purpose computing tasks, making them a more cost-effective and widely compatible solution for most organizations.

Are there any drawbacks to using a Commodity Server?

While commodity servers offer numerous benefits, there may be limitations in terms of performance and customization when compared to specialized servers. For example, organizations with specific performance requirements may need to invest in more expensive, custom-built servers that are tailored to their particular needs. Additionally, the use of commonly available hardware components may limit the longevity of a commodity server, as these components may not be available for purchase or support in the long term.

How can organizations ensure they are choosing the right Commodity Server?

When selecting a commodity server, organizations should consider factors such as their budget, performance requirements, and scalability needs. It’s important to evaluate different server models and compare specifications, customer reviews, and manufacturer support. Additionally, organizations can consult with IT professionals or server solution providers to ensure they choose the best system for their specific requirements.

Related Technology Terms

  • Scalability
  • Off-the-shelf components
  • Hardware virtualization
  • Server redundancy
  • Resource pooling

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents