The curse of integrated motherboards

What are motherboards doing in the Network blog, one might ask? Well, more and more computers now come with integrated everything as more and more components are being integrated on their motherboards - the main printed circuit board. Manufacturers see that as a way to reduce costs and end users are happy as long as prices go down and performance more or less stays the same.

Business users have also been enjoying the benefits of integration but quite a few have been faced with conundrums. Having everything integrated can bring its fair share of stress. As more and more components are crammed on the motherboard, the chances that one of these components fail is higher and when failure happens, it can bring more downtime than needed.

This is especially true for servers. The latest trend in servers, is the blade server. Blades are often very tightly integrated and therefore highly compact; which means that when one component gets zapped, the whole computer often has to be replaced and more often than not, that component happens to be a network card. No network card, no connection and no internet.

So next time you purchase a computer, a server or a laptop, make sure that if it is integrated in whatever way, there is an easy alternative route if ever something bad happens.