- Tower or Rack?
There are two kinds of servers, rack servers and tower servers. The biggest pitfall to avoid in this area is to not buy a rack server unless you already have a rack or have budgeted for one. Racks can be very costly and sides and shelves for the rack are usually also an additional cost.
- The speed requirements:
The speed of a processor is measured in gigahertz (GHz), but it can be misleading to look only at the number of GHz. In general you would think that the higher the number the faster the machine, but in reality this depends on the type of processor. A quad-core processor can perform four processes at once as opposed to a single processor which can only perform one.
- The amount of memory (RAM) required:
A point to remember when purchasing RAM is that many servers require RAM modules to be installed in pairs and all servers have a limited number of slots. In other words you have to have two of the same value and brand installed at the same time. So when purchasing the server you should look to the future and try to establish how much RAM you will need, and then ensure that this amount is a workable combination with what you are purchasing.
- The Brand:
Purchasing a server from a reseller that deals with large international brands such as HP and/or IBM is your best option for several reasons:
Firstly, large brands maintain availability of parts for purchase in order to support warranty claims. Smaller manufacturers however cannot afford to sustain such an inventory and may not be carrying the same hardware week in week out and so getting replacement parts may be difficult.
Secondly, buying a larger brand’s server helps you to avoid hardware software compatibility issues. For example: when you buy an IBM server to run Microsoft Windows Server software there are likely to be tens of thousands of other companies doing the exact same thing as you. This means that any compatibility issues that arise will most likely have already been identified and the fixes will be documented and in place or available to you or your service provider.
Thirdly, response from the bigger brands is often much faster as they have more resources available to them to deal with problems when they arise.