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In this day and age, having a server for your business can be very important. However, as even the cheapest servers are expensive, before buying one it is important to determine just what kind of a server do you really need. You don’t want to procure servers for your business only to realize that you wasted some of your money by buying servers that are too powerful for your needs, or even worse, that you flushed money down the drain by procuring servers that can’t accommodate your business (now, or a few years into the future when your company grows).

Cloud vs. physical

The first thing to decide is whether you should choose cloud-based or physical servers. The biggest advantage of choosing cloud-based solutions is financial. Namely, the cost of buying physical servers won’t be your only expense if you opt for this option. You’ll also have to pay for storage space and for security that will be needed to keep the server(s) safe.

However, if you already have enough space to store these servers, and hiring security to watch over them won’t be an issue, then you’ll easily get to enjoy the benefits that physical servers provide. As you’ll have easy access to the servers, you (or your IT technicians) will be able to reconfigure them quickly if need be. Sometimes, this won’t be possible with cloud-based solutions, and precious time could be wasted that way.

What’s more, as you will have complete control over the servers and the installed applications, you will be able to customize them according to your needs. Having the option to do so can easily result in a more optimized and efficient business.

A cartoonish image showing different devices that are connected to the cloud.
All kinds of devices are connected to the cloud these days.

Choosing the right type of physical server

If you opt for physical servers, the next step is deciding which type of physical servers is the right fit for you. Three kinds of physical servers exist. Choosing the right kind will depend on the size of your company, as well as on your finances/storage space. 

Tower servers are the cheapest and are best for small businesses (employing between 15 and 20 workers). If you’re running a modest moving company with moving industry software, two or three tower servers should do the job. Tower servers are also good for small businesses because they don’t require any additional cooling, and they can be expanded without too much trouble.

If you’ve used business improvement software and your moving company has grown, then you could be in need of rack servers. While these servers are smaller, they are more powerful and they require a designated area with specialized cooling systems.

Similarly, blade servers are even more powerful, they need even better cooling solutions, but they are also the smallest. The largest and best-moving company websites and data storage operations on such servers. However, if you’re not running a very large business, then you most likely won’t need them.

The benefits of virtualization

Another important factor to consider when it’s time to procure servers for your business is a feature called virtualization. Choosing a physical server with this technology can save you a lot of money, without making you sacrifice any of the benefits you’d have if you procured several physical servers that don’t come with this feature.

What does virtualization do? Basically, it is a software solution that in a way splits one server into several different ones. Instead of using one powerful server for all tasks individually (including the ones that require far less power), you can create several virtual machines by utilizing virtualization and use this one powerful server to accomplish several different tasks at the same time!

A computer divided into several virtual machines with different tasks.
Virtualization works by dividing your server into several independent virtual machines.

The benefits of virtualization are clear to see. For starters, you won’t need as many servers. This means that you’ll need less space and less cooling equipment. Then, there’s also the matter of energy that will be saved. Together, these factors can save you plenty of money, making virtualization-ready servers highly recommended.

Pre-made vs. self-made

Before you procure servers for your business, there’s only one thing left to decide – should you acquire servers that are already built, or should you make them yourself?

When it comes to the financial implications, at first it may seem that the servers you make yourself will be more affordable. If you buy the hardware and assemble the machine on your own, the amount of money you save won’t be trivial. However, there’s also the cost of the software. When the cost of software and hardware is put together, it becomes clear that pre-made and homemade servers will cost you about the same amount of money. So, how to choose between these two options?

One benefit of assembling the machine on your own is that your IT specialists will have an intimate knowledge of how this machine works. In turn, this allows for easier customization and it places a larger degree of control in your hands. In some cases, flexibility can be very important, so this benefit is not to be ignored.

A motherboard.
If you procure servers for your business that aren’t pre-made you’ll have to assemble the components yourself.

On the other hand, pre-made servers generally offer a larger degree of security and are more reliable. They were made by experienced experts who can offer support when you need it. So, choosing between these two options is a matter of preference and the amount of control you need.

Procure servers for your business while having its future growth in mind

Apart from these factors, it is also important to think about the future of your business as well. If you procure servers for your business as it is today, without thinking of its potential growth in the future, you will be doing yourself a disservice and potentially wasting money. Getting tower servers might make sense now, but if there’s a good chance that they won’t be sufficient a few years from now, buying more powerful servers will be a very good investment.

On the other hand, if you opt for renting cloud-based servers, you won’t have to think about that as upgrading will be easy in this situation.

Whatever you do, think hard on this decision and make the final choice together with your IT department. Making the wrong choice can cost you a lot, later on, so don’t rush, take your time, and think things through. Good luck!