10 Tips To Choose Best Server For Your Business
Choosing the Best Server for Your Business
The server has transformed that how all small businesses can operate, and with falling prices and rising efficiency, there has never been a good or better time to start using a server in your business but which one will you choose? With a number of server varieties to choose from, it can be a tough task to understand your options and then making the right choice to choose best server.
All of the big brand names such as Dell, HP, IBM and Oracle have server platforms aimed at the small business user. It’s important to match the requirements of your business to the right server type. You have to understand these questions:
- Are you buying a server for file sharing?
- Will your server be predominantly used for email?
- Is your server going to be used for backup of data?
- How much area or space do you have available to accommodate a server?
Understanding these questions will give you, a clear idea of the kind of server features your business needs. Often, a server will be used to manage multiple workloads such as sharing files and backup of data. It’s a good practice though to create a list that prioritises your requirements for a server. It gives you a clear roadmap to follow, which will result in your business choosing best server for its main requirements.
Moving to a server for the 1st time can bring efficiency rewards if the right choice is made. Thomas Jeffs, the founder of Lucidica a technology partner for small business, with over 500 SME business clients within the London area – says: “We tend to push clients more to NAS (mini-servers) and in specially QNAP and Synology NAS drives. This affords onsite file storage that may be synchronised with ‘cloud’ drives whereas still being cost effective.
“Beyond NAS drives, Dell still offer great value full blown servers for the clients who require onsite servers. Ultimately, though if you ‘require’ an onsite server then you need to spend £2,000+ on hardware. A ‘cheap server’ is something that can value your business a whole lot more than the initial price tag.”
Concerns over security when hosting the private data in the cloud server have bolstered the onsite server market to a degree, but as concerns dissolve, small businesses specially looking at their prices and asking whether they require a new onsite server at all, or see greater benefit in developing a hybrid approach.
Building your new server resources then means planning carefully and ensuring your server meets your primary needs. There is pressure to choose one type of server, as the hybrid approach often results in a better server platform for your business.
Cloud-based services had an enormous impact on how small businesses, specially, manage their information. When the time comes to buy a new server, for several businesses this is seamless and invisible, as they simply expand their cloud-based server capacity.
“For businesses in London, space for servers is costly, as is the security required to protect them. The cloud, therefore, opens up opportunities to save in terms of budget, something small businesses will be extremely interested in doing.”
And the seamless expansion that virtualisation offers has been fully embraced by the small business community, as Alexander Vierschrodt, head of commercial management server at 1&1 Internet explained to TechRadar Pro that, “Most SMEs don’t spend too much time to consider about virtualisation itself anymore. On-premise hardware virtualisation makes a costly proposition as most servers are oversized to be used for one task only. Virtualisation helped to optimize resource usage by splitting one physical piece of hardware into many virtual servers.
“In the cloud server, it doesn’t matter any longer as those issues are not important because SMEs will seamlessly scale resources, ordering the proper quantity of computing power and space for storage that is needed for the task at hand.”
When you consider that the cost of buying a licence to host Microsoft email on your own server is more expensive than hosting this email service in the cloud, small businesses have a simple choice if they are looking for a new email server.
Riverbank IT’s Scott Rundle concluded that, “These days Virtualisation is a big part of IT Industry. Microsoft permits you to utilise 2 Virtual Servers for every copy of Windows Server 2012 R2, that permits you to take advantage of server virtualisation in a huge way.
“Due to this licence feature it’s rare for us to provide a client with just one physical server running multiple roles. It is far more beneficial for us and the client to run in virtualisation as it becomes easier to backup, migrate and restore when running in a virtual layer.”
There is little doubt that the virtual servers and cloud servers are in the future of every small business, because the economic and efficiency cases for their use is overwhelming. Taking the time to know how this server option can be managed is important to make sure the power it offers is totally realised by your business.
How To Make Your Choice To Choose Best Server?
When it comes to finally making your own choice, make sure you follow these steps to confirm your business purchase the right server.
See What Server Mania has to say about this :
Match The Server To Your Primary Requirements
If you want to improve that, how your business uses email, then a dedicated email server is a good idea. Alternatively, if your business needs to manage large amounts of shared documents, then the file-sharing server would be the ideal option.
Buy An Affordable Server
Always set your budget for the new server and stick to it. The server market has a several number of vendors all vying for your business. You should always shop around, as there can be some great deals to be had.
Choose Best Server Breed
Once you have decided which type of server is best for your business requirements, look for vendors who are leaders in that particular server type. This will ensure you always purchase a server from a reputable source and one that is fully supported.
Buy The Right Operating System
As with your business desktop PCs, choosing the right operating system is very important to ensure applications are stable. Similarly, servers need an operating system that is robust to manage thousands of requests for data they could have to handle over a typical session.
Build In Expansion And Redundancy
Your business doesn’t want to be replacing its server in the short-term, so a level of expansion is highly recommended. This will generally mean using hard drives that can be upgraded as your server requires more memory. Using a RAID configuration will also confirm that any hard drives, which can fail, don’t lose any of your precious business data.
Support And Maintenance
If your business doesn’t have onsite IT support, then this will have to be outsourced. The vendor you purchase your server from may also offer maintenance as a package deal. Look very closely at the service level agreement you will be asked to sign to ensure it meets all your requirements.
Choose The Right Cloud Service Providers
Often, small businesses will leverage the huge benefits that cloud-based servers can offer. Treat those services as if you had the server at your premises. Take some time to perform due diligence on the vendors you have on your grade. Talk with the other clients, and look at the service levels you can expect before signing up for their services. Look closely at security if you intend to store sensitive or private information on your cloud-based servers.
Match Virtualisation To Your Needs
The ability to divide up a single server to behave like multiple servers is now a highly popular or more liked method of creating new servers and using existing hardware’s. The virtual server behaves as if it was a physical server but uses software called as a hypervisor to create the new server. Care should be taken to confirm the underlying hardware of processor and storage can cope with the additional virtual servers.
A wholesale move to the cloud will be a step too far at the moment, but simply adding to an existing server sprawl isn’t an option either. Being smart about buying a server capacity means understanding how your business fundamentally uses the data. Once you understand this aspect of your enterprise, selecting the right server is a much clearer and less risky endeavour. Look for all the options which are available around you to choose best server for your business.
Understanding Server Needs or Requirements
You know the needs of your new physical server must meet, but how do you align what you need with what’s available to you? You should start by understanding server options or features as well as the long list of buzzwords to determine the features that are most important to your environment. In different words, let’s get through all of the noise.
As explained in “Buying a server? How midmarket CIOs can determine their requirements,” there are a number of different types, styles and models of physical servers. The most commonly deployed servers are the small, floor-standing pedestals, under-desk or desktop servers, as well as 1U and 2U rack servers. But understanding server options which are best suited to your business needs you to consider a number of very specific areas.
Processing Ghz, Sockets, Cores And Threads
A processor or a chip sits in the core of every server, taking on the actual computing work of accessing memory and I/O devices.
As with the understanding of the many server choices, there are varieties of processor choices to wrap your head around 32-bit or 64-bit, x86 open or proprietary, single or multi-core and various forms of intelligent power management schema and I/O options. Beyond the basics, some processors also provide the advanced functionality and capable of automatically turning cores on or off (depending on workload demands via apps or OS software tools) as a way to save energy during idle periods, or increasing or decreasing clock speed to either boost the performance or slow it to a leisurely pace.
A server processor can contain one or more cores; it means a single socket could have a dual or quad processor supporting one or more active threads. A server with a single socket, core and single thread can execute only one instruction or operation at a time. On the other hand, a dual socket and quad core with one thread could, software permitting, execute eight instructions simultaneously without constraint. Like, a quad core, quad socket would enable 16 instructions, allowing a hypervisor and OS to potentially allocate those resources to virtual CPUs for application performance load balancing.
If you need more processing power than a single server can provide, cluster across server blades, individual rack mounts or floor-model servers. Assuming that OS, hypervisors and applications can utilize concurrent threads, cores and sockets, this increased density can address various performance and application requirements. However, if your current applications, OS or hypervisors are not able to fully utilize all of those features, don’t be up sold.
Also, keep in mind that the licensing models have changed. Some applications and software are no longer licensed by the size of the server alone, but based on the number of sockets and cores. Perform the necessary due diligence to confirm that you are meeting the licensing needs when using multi-socket, multi-core processors.
Understanding Server Memory
Computers rely on memory. Server memory, which includes external disk storage, is used for storing OS software and all the associated tools, application programs, data and utilities. Main memory or RAM, also known as Dynamic RAM (DRAM) chips, is packaged in different techniques, with a common form being dual inline memory modules. Dynamic RAM memory access speed is referred to in terms of older DDR2 (667 MHz) or newer DDR3 (1333 MHz). RAM main memory on a server is the fastest form of memory, second only to internal processor or chip-based registers — L1, L2 or local memory.
Generally, more memory is better however, the speed of the memory is also very important. Implementations of virtualization solutions support various memory configurations. Check with specific vendors’ compatibility list for supported configurations and memory needs. Additionally, check with vendors for supported configurations of 64-bit and 32-bit processors, single-core, quad-core, dual-core or 8-way processors, along with Input/output (I/O) cards and drivers for networking and storage devices.
Networking With Your Storage And Your Users
Let’s take a look at what functionality is built into the server or provided on server blades for general-purpose networking along with the attachment of disk storage. What is there in terms of 10 Gb Ethernet (10 GbE), and how many ports as well as 3G (3Gb) or 6G (6Gb) Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) for disk storage attachment (external or internal), along with serial, video and USB ports? Also, look at expansion capabilities for additional mezzanine cards for blade servers, or PCI-E cards for networking, storage and other peripherals.
PCI SIG Multi-Root IO Virtualization (MR-IOV), a relatively new and emerging feature for servers, allows advanced connectivity, including adapter sharing. MR-IOV will enable multiple, physically separate adjacent servers to share a PCI-E adapter card, allowing the virtualization of servers that otherwise could not be consolidated. MR-IOV will also boost scaling capabilities beyond normal physical limits in high-density servers by placing adapter cards in shared external expansion slots.
Make sure you take your decisions wisely to choose the best server. Ask your friends who are using it, how was their experience and most important the support of the company whenever they faced any issue.
Do let us know if you want to add any specific info into this topic where you have any tips on how to choose best server do share with us in the comment section below !
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