How Can I Choose a Server for a Small Business?

What kind of businesses do you have?

Making a list of the tasks and applications, the number of servers and kind of resources you need, the availability of space, and the allocated budget matters when you have to select a server for your business. You can invest smartly and work efficiently with the most suitable server. For example, if you have hosting services you might need higher RAM and extra hardware redundancy and for mailing and data file management, an email server with multiple storage bays is functional, or, an eCommerce website might require better uptime and safe networking. Also, you may have to decide between shared and dedicated hosting.

Select a server type based on business needs and space availability.

Physically, servers are available in blade, rack, and tower form factors, where rack and blade servers can be stacked on top of each other using racks. They consume less space compared to tower servers which resemble PCs but are expensive compared to tower servers. You can use and maintain them at your workplace in a cool and well-ventilated space with a skilled staff to look after them. Or, you can opt for cloud or offsite servers where you employ the server resources from a third party to save space, and reduce power and cooling costs but with no physical access.

Popular Server Brands 

With various brands like HP, Dell ,Fujitsu, IBM, Lenovo, Oracle and others, it is crucial to find the right one that coordinates well with your business and applications. For example HP is highly preferred due to availability of a variety of models and latest technology integrated into them. HP servers are widely used by SMBs and have upgraded HPE management and networking features embedded. Dell is better suitable for large enterprises with broader EMC storage capabilities, secure iDRAC access and processing.

Choose a suitable operating system.

Operating systems are important for accessing and managing your applications and server. Windows, Linux, RedHat, CentOS, and Ubuntu are commonly used and are good choices. You have to consider factors like stability and robustness, memory management, cost, support, etc. Microsoft has better connectivity and support and is user-friendly and suitable for small businesses offering remote access, backup, and emailing tools. Whereas, Ubuntu and Linux are suitable for medium-sized businesses as they are free and open-source, and allow customization and optimization.

Select server configuration for your business.

The software and hardware requirements need to be clearly understood before choosing a server as they differ from business to business. You need to pick the RAM, maximum storage, type of drive bays, RAID controllers, security installations like firewall and spyware, and other software you are likely to use. You can have the server set up by your IT staff or you can have your server custom-configured with specifications of your choice, from an experienced and reliable service provider.

Set aside a budget for your server.

When you decide to buy a server, you need to definitely set aside a considerable amount of money. Making an estimate based on the hardware and software requirements is a wise step prior to the purchase. Prices vary depending on the brands, models, their uses, and the type of configuration you are seeking. Choose a good server based on your business. Even if it’s a bit expensive, stability, security, and the latest generation features will provide high performance and efficiency.

Search for a reliable and trustworthy server provider.

There are countless server providers available in the market, some reliable and some troubling. So, it’s important that you do careful research and consider your options. Understanding your business requirements is a must as you make yourself aware as a  buyer. This will prevent them from overselling their services. Server providers with an established client base, certified and experienced engineers, and easily reachable customer support are more reliable.

Proceed with the server purchase. Obtaining quotes and free consultation will help you compare prices to choose the server provider who fits your budget and needs. When you proceed with the purchase, make sure you follow safe payment methods and get a bill and warranty card. Getting a tracking ID and delivery service details to track your equipment is advisable.