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Small Business Server Buying Guide 2020

Servers are essentially a high powered central computer that serves information to other computers over the internet or a local network. These machines may not look much different from a regular PC especially if they are a tower type machine. 

However, the major distinction is that these run specialised operating systems that are capable of supporting many users on a network. They can take on a variety of tasks from managing user permissions to handling key projects and storing sensitive data.

Unlike regular laptops or desktops that typically power down at night, servers are designed to stay on 24/7. As your business starts to scale, it may be time to think about deploying a dedicated server on the premises. Here we put together a small business server buying guide to help you get started.

Choose a Server That Fits Your Business Needs

To get the right server for your business, it’s best to first determine what exactly your server will be used for. Some things to consider include what types of applications you’re planning to run, the storage requirements of your business, the number of employees or users, and more. 

There are mail servers that are used for sending and receiving emails, file servers for storing and retrieving computer files, application servers (sometimes called middleware) for hosting applications, plus many more server types available for small businesses. 

For small businesses that are steadily growing and need to manage complex databases, run advanced server-based applications (such as a CRM), or generally manage a high number of users, investing in a tower or rack server may be a worthy option to consider. Also, buying servers that are expandable can ensure it can still work efficiently as your business grows. It is very important to make sure you have enough capacity in your server that can sustain unexpected growth as it can be a large investment to replace these earlier than planned.

Choose Server Specs Based on Your Requirements

Similar to buying a desktop or laptop, you need to consider the hardware specifications of the server you need for your business. The main components to look at include the processor, RAM, storage, and disk type. This again comes down to the type of server you need and the applications you plan to run, that's why it is important to speak to an IT Support partner specialising in server installs.

For example, if your small business requires you to regularly manage, update, search up, and delete database records using SQL, you’ll need a relational database management system such as Microsoft SQL Server however, if you need a file server, your storage requirements will be quite high. 

Another consideration is the disk type. Solid State Drives (SSD) use flash-based memory, which makes them significantly faster than the mechanical Hard Disk Drives (HDD). SSDs are well worth the added cost for the performance gain.

Choose a Form Factor That Fits Your Physical Space

Servers come in different form factors – Towers, racks, and blades. Towers look exactly like regular desktops, but are built with server components. These are highly customisable and offer plenty of processing power. The downside is that they take up a lot of space. These are generally recommended if you only need one server.

Rack servers are mounted onto a rack chassis. They can hold multiple servers on top of each other, making them ideal for smaller spaces. They also allow for massive scalability as you can always add more. Blade servers are stripped-down computers with a modular design. These types of servers are even more space-efficient, but the downside is they have expansion challenges and typically have proprietary connection ports meaning it can be expensive to replace.

Here to Help

Looking to deploy a new server for your business or require monitoring and maintenance services? Call Simple Biz today on 1300 022 903 and we can deliver an IT solution that matches your business needs.

Posted on

May 10, 2020

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