5 Questions to Ask Before Buying A Server For Small Business

07/19/2022 | by Jeff Fowler

server

According to Spiceworks, 98% of companies depend on on-premise server hardware. While Cloud-based solutions are all the rage these days, most businesses just aren’t buying into it. They prefer to continue using on-site hardware. In today’s blog post, we’ll be discussing the questions you should ask before buying a server. Whether you’re in the market for a new server or are looking to replace an old, aging server, this blog post will give you an idea of the questions to ask when shopping for a small business server.

What’s the budget?

The budget of the project is probably the most important question when researching a server purchase. If you have no idea what you’re prepared to spend, it’s a tough task to find a solution. There are small servers that have costs similar to desktop computers to rack mounted monsters costing tens of thousands of dollars. There’s also millions of configurations in-between the two. There’s also options of pre-built servers vs custom configured servers.

What are our needs for the server?

In reality, a server is really just a different kind of computer that has a more direct purpose than a desktop machine. 

Here are a few tasks you might use a server for:

  • File Sharing
  • Domain Authentication
  • Database Services
  • Hosting sites (intranet and internet)
  • Controlling other assets (NAS, Printer, etc)
  • Running shared software
  • Running an application server

Additionally, you need to determine how many people will be using the server and potentially what kind of load the server will be under. The combination of the type and amount of requests determine roughly how robust of a server you would need to handle everything.

Will this be an On-Site or Cloud Server?

Cloud-based infrastructure is creating a lot of buzz right now, but a lot of businesses just aren’t adopting it yet. The benefit of a cloud server is that it’s easily accessible from everywhere, requires less maintenance, and is usually easily scalable compared to on-site servers.

The biggest plus for On-site servers is that can be faster and are not as reliant on your internet speed. This is because you’re on the local network and not throttled by internet speed like when connected to a cloud server.

Does this server fit our planned future growth?

Try to plan up to 5 years ahead when trying to assess the needs of a server. Outgrowing your infrastructure can waste a lot of time, money and resources. Choosing an incorrect server could potentially even be a bottleneck. You need to allow for ample growth opportunities.

Who is going to Manage the Server?

This is more of a long-term question. Servers, while robust, do require maintenance. It will require regular updates, patches and even occasional configuration changes, based on the needs of your organization. This can definitely be done in-house, but it’s often cheaper and easier to consult with an IT Support specialist to make sure you have all of your bases covered.

Do you now have a better idea of what you need?

Hopefully this blog post has shined some light on servers for you. If you want to take the next step in getting the most server for your money, schedule a call with SandStorm IT to discuss how we help you with all of your IT needs. We love partnering with businesses in the Greater Memphis and the Mid-South area on their IT. 

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