What you really need to know for choosing your server

Servers are at the core of every company’s IT infrastructure, and choosing the right one for a business can be a momentous decision. A bad choice might mean purchasing equipment that is not appropriate for the purpose it’s intended for, or, at the opposite side of the spectrum, buying a server that is too powerful for our needs, which would be an unnecessary expense. 

The wide selection of models can make the task of choosing one seem daunting—the market offers many different server types, components, and networking options. But with the right information and a clear idea of what we need the server for, the process of choosing one can become painless and successful. The following are some of the key questions that will help you pick the option that best fits your business needs. 

What and how many applications will you be operating? 

Given that choosing the right server is an important decision that will influence server maintenance, you should base your choice mainly on the applications that will be operated by your end users, starting with the operating system. Usually, applications are very demanding and when you do not use the right hardware to support the application’s performance requirements, you might face delays, errors, and, even worse, downtime. For this reason, you should always refer to the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of each application to know what the key requirements are for the hardware. In the case of companies which use many applications (i.e., file, email, CRM and database), they will require a stronger tower, rack, or blade server. 

What type and quantity of processors is required? 

To decide the type of processors needed for the server that you wish to use, you need to again take into consideration the applications you will be operating. Usually, each application requires a particular type of processor, core, and speed. You should always make sure not to buy a processor that is too powerful to avoid unneeded costs, while ensuring you get a processor that provides enough power to your server server to prevent any bottlenecks. Online research or an IT specialist can help you pinpoint the minimum system requirements you need based on the level of tasks that need to be carried out both now and in the future. This information will help you have a clearer idea about the server that best fits your requirements is. 

What type and quantity of switch ports are required for the server? 

Sometimes, customers buy several servers but later on discover they don’t have enough ports on their switch to plug them in. Therefore, you should always know the number of ports available in your network to be able to know if you need another switch to support your servers. This applies both to a small business and a large corporation. 

How much memory do you need? 

As we all know, when it comes to memory capacity, the more the better. This means the initial cost will be high, but having a lot of memory will help you avoid having to take down your network to increase the memory installed on your server, given that a large capacity was already anticipated at the initial deployment. For this reason, its better to max out your server with memory to avoid the hassle of having to take down your network, since nobody wants to waste time de-racking and re-racking servers. 

How much power do you really need? 

You have to calculate how much power is required for your server in order to obtain the necessary power supply. Nowadays, power consumption and saving is a critical topic to take into consideration. Therefore, you should not ignore the issue if your server consumes a lot of power, and this will depend on the installed components. You need to review the power consumption for each component and choose the best option based on your needs. This might also depend on the budget that you plan on allocating to servers. Depending on the size of your business and whether it makes intensive use of IT resources or not, a larger or small purchase might be justified. 

What type of server do you need? 

Another decision to make is choosing between tower, rack and blade servers. Tower servers look similar to regular desktop computers and can stand alone without the need of a cabinet. This makes them the ideal choice for companies without a dedicated server room.  

Small companies with modest IT budgets often choose tower servers because they are the cheapest option. One thing against them is the amount of space they take, especially if more and more are added over time. This makes a tower server a typical choice for a small business server. 

Rack servers, on the other hand, are installed in a cabinet and require a dedicate server room. This type of cabinet can housemultiple servers that can be installed on top of each other in slots, making rack servers a good option for those who know they need multiple servers and want to reduce the physical footprint of their IT infrastructure. Rack servers are usually the choice of growing companies with demanding system requirements. 

Finally, blade servers are the most common choice for large enterprises due to their high density and converged networking. They take up even less room than rack servers, but also require a dedicated space with cooling equipment. 

Blade servers typically have higher processing power and can be managed through a single interface, making their maintenance and monitoring more simple. On the other hand, they also have higher thermal output and are very heavy, so they must be placed in dedicated data centers with proper cooling equipment. 

In conclusion, the best way of choosing your server involves planning carefully and ensuring that your choice meets all of your key requirements, while knowing that you can always add additional equipment if in the future your workload and accompanying requirements grow larger. 

If you still have questions about choosing your server and related products or maintaining it, contact our team at Evernex today. Our experienced staff is always here to help, and will be glad to assist you with whatever you need. 

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