One of the most common questions we get from small businesses and service providers is: “What are the best servers?”
The answer can depend on your needs and your situation, as well as the demand your customers place on your offering. Here we’ll look at a few different things to keep in mind when you search for a server and give you some questions to ask to help make the decision a little easier.
First, we should note that there is a variety of cloud options that won’t be discussed here because they don’t require hardware on your side of things. While this may be enticing, it’s not always a good first step. The main reason is that it can be challenging to manage and expand, but an on-site server allows you to operate and change things as you need.
What Servers Do I Need for My Small Business?
You want to start with a physical server in your location. These are often called dedicated servers. This unit can seem like a desktop PC in some cases — or a PC in a small chassis — but it is incredibly robust and reliable. You can find a broad range of options, including some very capable ones with many processors. The more demanding your services, the more powerful the server you need.
Look at traffic volumes when trying to understand what servers you need for your website. Ecommerce sites, for example, require a much more significant amount of power than static web pages about your business. However, if you offer apps or popular services that many people use concurrently, choose a more powerful option that can handle these demands.
Two of our most popular servers for small businesses and websites are the HP cc3310 and the Dell PowerEdge series. Here’s a little more about these two:
Refurbished HP Carrier-Grade Server cc3310
The HP cc3310 is powerful enough for carriers, but it is also reliable and easy to use, making it perfect for growing small businesses. It can expand your capabilities to a wide range of users at once and can be custom-configured for multiple kinds of networks and deployments. Featuring an Intel Pentium 4 Xeon 2.4 GHz with 512 KB integrated cache and 533 MHz FSB, it’s a powerful tool that can be expanded if you grow even bigger.
Dell PowerEdge R720xd Rack Server
Dell EMC PowerEdge servers are designed to make your IT life simple and effective as you move from a handful of customers to thousands and thousands, all while ensuring you have storage and network reliability. It is powerful enough to handle just about any small or mid-sized business service and application suite. We’ve seen it used for intensive medical imaging systems, which have high demands on security, data transfer and reliability.
Our customers also note that it can be used to scale quickly and efficiently, and it’ll work with many different vendors and other OEMs. No matter what’s on your network, it has you covered.
Not sure what you need or how to judge servers? Contact us to get help or keep reading to learn a little more.
How to Choose Which Servers Are Best
The first place to start when trying to understand what the best servers are for your small business or website is to write down what you want the server to do plainly. Different options excel at various activities. Here are some of the more common uses for a server in an SMB:
- Hosting a website.
- Hosting email and sending things out to a mail server.
- Controlling your office IT, such as printers and other devices.
- Running shared software.
- Sharing assets across network-attached storage or with a file server.
- Authenticating activity on your domain.
- Running as a database service for other servers in your network, or for partners.
Your intended activities allow you to understand what the best servers are for you. For instance, numbers 1 and 4 will work well on servers with enterprise-quality storage bays. Number 3 — office IT — can be a relatively low-level server if your office is small. Options 7 and 2 perform best if your server has similar specifications and characteristics to the other services in use.
As your needs for more users, more complex applications, a more extensive range of hardware and consistent uptime all increase, the power required for your server increases too.
No checklist can fully address your needs, so we invite you to reach out to a Worldwide Supply expert for assistance in determining which servers are best for your business.