Getting a computer server can prove to be one of the most shrewd decisions you will ever make for several reasons, including the safety of your data, increased speed and performance of your systems and devices, and better accessibility. Despite its apparent benefits, the cost of a server may be unfavorable to you, especially if you’re operating a small business.
The cost of a server majorly depends on the purpose it serves, the number of users, and the server’s hardware components. Other factors include the installation costs, the warranty offered, and the type of server. All things considered, low-end servers cost less than $1,000, while high-end servers cost as much as $10,000.
This article discusses the seven factors determining a computer server’s cost. While considering those factors, we estimated the cost of a computer server.
Factors That Determine the Cost of a Computer Server
Here are the 8 factors that determine the price of a computer server.
Purpose of the Server
Before buying anything, you need to ask yourself why you are buying it and what purpose that thing would serve. The purpose of the server determines your choice in the other factors below. If your server is only used for sharing files among workers in the office or for print serving, you should buy a low-end server for a small number of people and with modest hardware specifications.
If you intend to use the server for database serving, video storage, application hosting, etc., you will have to spend more money on a high-end server.
Number of Users
Before buying your server, you should consider how many people you expect to use it and factor in potential future growth that would increase the number of users. If your business is small with no plan for expansion in the near future, it makes more financial sense to get a server that would serve a few people.
Server Operating System (OS) Costs
The popular choices for server OS are Windows and Linux. Windows OS costs significantly more than any other server OS. You may also opt for alternatives like Mac OS X Server, Ubuntu, VMware, etc.
The main components of a server are the processor, RAM, hard drive, case, and power supply unit. Just like your desktop computer, the specifications of the hardware components of your server will determine how powerful it is and the number of users it can support.
The processor is the most important part of any computer. A powerful processor allows your computer to run easy and complex tasks quickly. Your server’s Random Access Memory (RAM) allows several virtual servers to run or more users to connect and use the same server simultaneously.
While hard disk drives (HDD) are cheaper and offer more storage space, solid-state drives (SSD) are faster, quieter, and more efficient. Buy a hard disk drive if you are working on a budget but need more space. If you do not want to compromise on quality, go for the SSD.
Your server’s three types of cases are tower, rack, and blade. Before choosing any of the three, consider how much physical space you want your server to occupy and the number of servers you want to have.
As for the power supply unit (PSU), you should always purchase a power supply unit that supplies more power than your computer server requires to protect the PSU when you overclock the server. Also, it would be best if you considered getting dual power supply units to have a backup in case one fails.
Any business with a dedicated server will be wary of any downtime. It is critical to set aside some percentage of the server budget for adequate support staff to look after the server and ensure that it does not suffer any downtime.
When calculating the cost of a server, people often forget to include the installation costs, even though you might have to spend a few hundred dollars. You can’t use your server without installing it, and we recommend getting an IT professional to help you install the server even if you have to spend more.
Some try to cut costs by installing the server themselves or getting a cheap technician, but this is not advisable as the risk from a poorly connected server is bigger than the gain.
Having a warranty ensures that any repair costs within the period of warranty would be free of charge from the manufacturer. Getting a server with several years of warranty may be more expensive. Still, you will be better protected if the components of your server sustain damages in the future.
Maintenance and Repair Costs
You must factor in average maintenance and repair costs when buying a server because regular maintenance is necessary to keep your server running smoothly and prevent major damage. Warranties may cover the cost of the initial repairs, but warranties expire. You will have to handle subsequent repair costs and initial maintenance costs.
How Much Does a Server Cost?
The factors discussed above are essential in determining the cost of a server. While the software OS and the hardware costs may be the most important factors in determining the cost, the other factors are also quite important. You may overlook the maintenance, repair, support, and installation costs, but they may even represent the largest percentage of your server budget.
Low-end servers cost less than $1,000 or between $1,000 and $2,000, depending on the factors discussed in the article. High-end servers can cost as much as $10,000 or more when you factor in the additional installation, support, maintenance, and repair costs.
When purchasing a computer server, it is important to take note of the initial costs and the expected future expenses, such as the installation costs, support and administrative costs, maintenance and repair costs, etc. You must plan for the overall costs in your budget before you decide whether the investment is worth it or a luxury you cannot afford and can do without.