How to Choose a Server?

How to Choose a Server Provider | Total Server Solutions Blog

The server has transformed how small businesses operate, and with falling costs and improving efficiency, there has never been a better time to start using a server in your business – but which one should you choose?

With a number of server varieties to choose from, it can be a daunting task understanding your options and then making the right choice. Should you have an onsite server? Will a cloud-based server offer the best service for your business? And how can virtualisation make your server choice even more flexible?

All of the big name brands such as Dell, HP, IBM and Oracle have server platforms aimed at the small business user. It's important to match the needs of your business to the right server type. Ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Are you buying a server for file sharing?
  2. Will your server be predominantly used for email?
  3. Does your workforce need to connect to the server remotely?
  4. Is your server going to be used for data backup?
  5. How much space do you have available to accommodate a server?

Answering these questions will give you a clear idea of the kind of server features your business needs. Often, a server can be used to manage multiple workloads such as file sharing and data backup. It's a good practice though to create a list that prioritises your needs for a server. This gives you a clear roadmap to follow, which will result in your business choosing the right server for its main requirements.

Small businesses should ensure they have a comprehensive support and maintenance contract linked to their new servers

Business platforms

Moving to a server for the first 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 particular QNAP and Synology NAS drives. This affords onsite file storage that can be synchronised with 'cloud' drives while still being cost effective.

"Beyond NAS drives, Dell still offer great value full blown servers for the clients who need onsite servers. Ultimately though if you 'need' an onsite server then you need to spend £2, 000+ on hardware. A 'cheap server' is something that will cost your business a whole lot more than the initial price tag."

Western Digital WD 4TB My Cloud Personal Network Attached Storage - NAS - WDBCTL0040HWT-NESN
Personal Computer (Western Digital)
  • 4TB Storage Capacity, Back up files from all your computers
  • Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0, Blazing-fast file transfers
  • Package Includes: Personal cloud storage, Ethernet cable, AC adapter and Quick Install Guide, DLNA 1.5 and UPnP Certified
  • Auto Network Discovery
  • Windows and Mac Compatible
  • Stream to your DLNA/UPnP-certified connected TVs, media players and gaming consoles
Lenovo (United States), Inc. Lenovo ThinkServer TS140 70A40037UX 4U Tower Server Intel Core i3-4150 3.5Ghz
Personal Computer (Lenovo (United States), Inc.)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4130 processor 3.4 GHz, 2C, 4M Cache, 1.00 GT/s, 65W
  • RAM: 1 x 4 GB PC3-12800E 1600MHz DDR3 ECC-UDIMM UDIMM / 4 Slots Total
  • Hard Drive: NONE installed with 3 vacant 3.5bays / RAID: Software supporting 0, 1, 5 Levels
  • Optical Drive: DVD-ROM / Power Supply: 280W Fixed / Networking: Gigabit Ethernet (Integrated)
  • True server-class features
Mediasonic Mediasonic ProBox HF2-SU3S2 4 Bay 3.5” SATA HDD Enclosure – USB 3.0 & eSATA Support SATA 3 6.0Gbps HDD transfer speed
CE (Mediasonic)
  • Support all brand of 3.5 SATA I / II / hard disk drive up to 8TB per drive, and up to 4 x 8TB
  • Support SATA 3 6.0Gbps hard drive transfer rate
  • Transfer rate up to 5.0Gbps via USB 3.0, Transfer rate up to 6.0Gbps via eSATA
  • Comptaible with Mac USB 3, Smart Fan Function
  • Thermal Sensor built-in, Auto and Manual Mode and One Button Interface selection to switch USB 3.0 or eSATA Interface

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