Choosing The Ideal Server
It doesn’t matter if you need a server for home, a small business or an enterprise. The considerations are all the same, but the scale of the server will differ.
There are many servers out there, and they all serve different roles. Here are all the top considerations you should think of when buying a server.
The server’s operating system determines what programs can be installed on the server. If you just need something basic, then it may not matter what system you choose. Business and Web-oriented servers depend heavily on the software, so that means you should pick a system that matches your software needs. The two main operating systems available for servers are Windows and Linux. There are also other systems, but they mostly serve specialized needs. See what OS your software is compatible with, and that should help with this consideration.
A server is basically like a computer. It has RAM, a hard drive and a processor. Think about your hardware needs when choosing a server. If you need a storage server for home, then you just need to worry about the hard drive size. If you are running software, then the RAM and processor specs will be important. Servers that stream media or connect with many devices will often need to be strong in all three areas. Think about how much the server will be used, and the workload put on it. More work equals stronger hardware.
A redundant server ensures that there is extra hardware available to keep the data secure if the original hardware fails. Most servers have at least basic redundancy, and this may be fine for homes or servers that just store normal files. Business servers will need powerful redundancy options to ensure that mission-critical files are never lost or destroyed. Common redundancy is often called RAID. More powerful redundancy is often called hot-swappable RAID, or the server will be labeled as “triple redundant” or “quadruple redundant.” This means that the server has to fail three or four times until the data is really gone.
Some larger servers come with hardware that allows for additional backups. For example, a server can be built with a tape or optical drive to allow backups to these different media. If you need the extra protection, then getting a server with additional backup capabilities can be useful. If the server is just used for normal files, then this is normally an extra cost that will not be worth it.
Number of Users
How many people will be using the server at once? Servers are commonly made to service many different users, but they are often given a certain cap based on their hardware and software. Find out how many people will be using the server at the same time. If the server will be used by five people or less, then you normally don’t have to look into this. Businesses that have hundreds of employees or more accessing the server will need to make this consideration.
Choosing the right server isn’t difficult. You just need to know what aspects to look at before settling on one. Think about all these different considerations, and think about what you need the server for. This will help you find the perfect server for your needs.
John Hodge is a writer for RackMountPro. When he’s not writing he loves computers and everything related to them, gaming and spending time with his family. Connect with John on Google +. In addition to selling Windows and Linux servers RackMountPro has been producing and selling rackmount servers and storage since 2001.