The server you choose should reflect the number and type of applications you want to run on it. You need to know how many users (clients) it will have. Many common applications — such as print serving, sharing office documents such as Word and Excel® files — impose such light processing demands that a single low-cost server may be able to handle your entire company with ease. Other tasks, such as hosting large databases or image libraries, require more processing horsepower along with big, fast hard disks and capacious network pipes to match.
|When buying a server, there are three considerations:|
1. Server type: Tower, rack or blade?
2. Hardware configuration
3. Server software
|Towers, racks or blades? You can choose from the following three types of servers:|
This is the most basic of servers on the market. It costs and takes up as much space as the average desktop. Tower servers are great for small businesses that:
|Have limited space concerns and need centralized processing without a data room Need easier monitoring and maintenance of networked resources Want to reduce susceptibility to intrusion and attack through a central location|
A tower is most typically recommended for your first server. You will also be able to choose the number of hard drives and processors on your server. For an office with less than 25 employees, a server with one processor and two to four hard drives should be sufficient. If you have more than 25 employees or if you're planning to run data-intensive applications, a server with two processors and four to six hard drives is recommended.
This system stacks the servers in racks in much the same way that a CD rack stacks CDs. This is a space-saving option but is more suited for companies that: Want to maximize space in a centralized data center Need flexibility to mix and match servers to match applications and workloads Require large dedicated storage internal to the server
Rack servers are better for small businesses that are well versed in the world of servers or a medium-sized business that requires more servers.
|Blade servers |
This system is the most compact server of the bunch. This server was named for its ultrathin shape. Multiple blade servers can fit vertically into a single enclosure, sharing certain hardware components such as power supplies. Because of their ultracompact size, you can fit more servers into less space. Consolidating a traditional server infrastructure into space- and power-saving blade enclosures means: More processing Less space Less power Less time and money spent on management
Blade servers are great for businesses that require much larger computing capacity or for businesses that plan to develop a data center.