Prior to purchasing your very own server, stop to consider alternatives. It might save you some money in the long run! For example, did you know that you can configure a computer to act as a server? Additionally, with all of the cloud hosting options that exist, who needs a physical server? What about Dropbox or Google Docs, allowing your employees to share files for the sweet price of free?
Why A Server?
One of the main reasons businesses consider getting their own server: their data is more secure. However, you still need to secure the physical server as well, not just from theft but also from overheating. Your own server allows you total control of data at all times, and you don't need to worry as much about surprise downtime that arises with that cheap hosting provider.
Let's not forget you'll need to choose an employee or multiple employees to maintain the servers and manage permissions!
Here are things you must consider when deciding whether or not to purchase a server:
What does the future of your company look like?
Businesses all want to grow, but when you are contemplating purchasing a server, you have to think about the eventual size of your company in the future. You don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a server today just to find out you need to buy three more a few years later because you ran out of storage space! Determine how many people will be accessing the server. If it's only a few, a small server will suffice.
However, if you are a large corporation with hundreds of employees accessing the server, you'll need to find a server that provides the processing power, network capacity, and memory to suit it. Don't forget to factor in the size of your hard drive! Look ahead and plan for the future rather than simply focusing on your immediate needs.
Locate the right server.
Different servers exist for many different purposes. What does your business need from a server? If you're merely sharing files amongst employees in a small office of ten, you won't need tons of space and fancy features.
Consider the temperature.
Even if your server is in a nice, cool air conditioned area, you will need to assure there is an internal fan. Some models even have heat-sensing technology that detects high temperatures and shuts itself down.
Rent your server.
Due to security risks, you've already counted the cloud out. However, have you thought about dedicated or shared hosting? Some companies, like Rackspace, will assess your needs and provide a server to you for a monthly fee.
Look for a reputable brand.
If you don't want to hire an entire IT team, companies like Dell and HP offer excellent customer support for people who purchase their servers. If you do decide to purchase a server, be certain the customer support center will actually support you!
Are you considering your own server?
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