Top Five Tips for Choosing an Enterprise Server
Choosing the appropriate server to use is possibly one of the most important decisions to make when starting out in the world of business. There are many factors to take into consideration, not the least of which is security, as you will ultimately be allowing your data to be housed in someone else’s facility. Small businesses in particular should pay attention to the need for a server, as it will represent one of the biggest financial outlays in their initial set-up. The following list is by no means going to be comprehensive, but it will help anybody who is about to embark on the journey of servers.
The first thing to consider when looking into server options is the location. While the purpose of a server is to be able to store data off-site, occasionally the need will arise for someone to be present at the server location, so it is best to choose a destination which is easy to travel to from your company location. Location is also important if you live and work in an area which is prone to natural disasters – is the building which houses the servers safe? Does it have insurance against damage? Most importantly, what is the power service to the building like? Is it powerful enough to always bring electricity into the servers? If you are in doubt, consult Spectra.com, a service with thirty years of experience in dealing with servers.
2. Flexibility and Expansion Capability (Scalability)
Flexibility and the capacity for expansion are of course extremely important when it comes to picking a server. Start-ups will be small at first, and therefore only need a small amount of space, but as they grow, so will their needs.
The facility where your server is housed may or may not have some ideas put in place for the inevitable expansion that you will need, but if they don’t (and check this before committing to server space with them), then it is best to choose a server which can be easily upgraded and integrated with more capacity in the future.
A server has to be reliable. It stores all the information which your business needs to run on a day-to-day basis, so you need to be able to access it or a backup at all times. Make sure that the server you are using is connected to power in at least two ways, so that it has a backup if one fails. Do you have a backup server if the first one just can’t hold on?
How quickly can your server be up and running? Is it an instant load, or does it need to warm up before it can be used? Try to figure out how quickly you will expand into more server space, and plan for that need, bearing in mind that the whole server will most likely be down while it is expanded.
5. Network Ecosystem
One advantage to shared server space is the ability to share information, so bear that in mind when choosing a server. There are several security questions to bear in mind, such as the availability of data, but with care, these can be overcome.