Whether you are a small office or a global enterprise, a server is the lifeblood of your business – that’s why finding the right one is essential. As your business expands, you may be considering server options to help your employees collaborate, share tools and information. Maybe you’re concerned about data that needs to be secured, or you’re thinking about what type of solution you will need in the long run. Choosing the best server for you and your business can seem like a difficult process, but really, it’s a lot simpler than you think.
First, ask yourself, “What are my business goals? What type of IT solution do I need to address my requirements? How will this server benefit me?” Essentially, consider how will you be using this server. Some common uses for servers are web hosting, email, and print. If you can align your business and IT requirements, you do not have to worry about being held back as your business grows.
To help get you started in your search, here are 5 tips to consider when you start looking at servers:
1. What Server Fits Best for You?
In order to answer this question, you must ask yourself some simple, but important questions during your server selection such as, “What business goals do I want my server to accomplish? How much office space do I have available?” Servers come in different shapes and sizes that are categorized into racks, towers, and modular. Always keep in mind that one size does NOT fit all.
Rack Servers are designed to be installed within a rack chassis that holds multiple servers on top of each other. These are great if you want to be prepared to scale your business and want to consolidate IT.
Tower Servers are built for stand-alone operations and occupy the least amount of floor space. They can fit underneath or on top of a desk. These also make great first servers because they offer plenty of power and are similar to a desktop computer. However, they do take up more room when it comes to expanding.
Modular Servers allow for multiple servers to be housed in a given chassis and offer shared IT resources to manage dynamic workloads.
2. How Will You Be Utilizing Your Server?
You’ll need to know what primary tasks you’ll be performing and then determine what hardware you’ll need to consider so you get the most out of your server.
Will you be needing to print and/or use email, or do you have databases or business applications? The type of applications will determine the type of processor, memory, and storage capacity you’ll need.
Another piece to think about is having hot-swappable components in your server. We live in a world where we are always on the go and can’t afford to have server downtime. Having hot-swappable hard drives or power supplies will allow you to replace a piece of hardware without the need to power down. You can continue to run the server and keep working without interruption.
3. What is Your Budget?
Servers are available in a range of price points depending on the specificity of your workload. It’s up to you to determine what workload to run on your server. Make sure you consider your business long-term. In the long run, a more efficient server will reduce your total cost of ownership. Consider a server that will be able to adapt to your growing needs and future technology changes. Having scalability offers potential savings, plus you’ll have the most up-to-date hardware.
For example, one-socket servers are great for a small or growing business. Did you know, according to a Gartner analysis, “By 2021, dedicated x86 single-socket servers will be able to address 80% of the workloads in use in enterprise data centers, up from 20% in 2018.” These servers will be able to complete your tasks at a high-performance level.
4. Are You Anticipating Future Growth?
Speaking of scalability, think about how many people access the network now and, how much space and power you use today. Then think about how much that will change in the next 6 months, a year, or even 5 years. You want your server to be able to grow with you and adapt to your needs.
Why should you consider a product that is easily scalable? Because it will impact your total cost of ownership and business. Scaling late in the game may require the need to purchase more servers than originally expected. The same goes for with the software that’s available. If you don’t have a way to handle these updates and increases, you may lose efficiency and the quality of service may suffer. You want something that will grow with you and not hold you back.
5. How Will You Protect Your Data?
Security is a huge risk for all businesses. You can’t afford to leave your data vulnerable to security breaches, cyber threats, and other vicious virtual attacks. The average total cost of a data breach in the United States is $8.19 million.
Your server plays a critical role in your business and selecting the right one can play a major role in your business growth and IT goals. If you seek reliable, affordable, and scalable servers, reach out to us today! As a managed services provider, Xceptional can help you make the right choice for your business.