Buying a server requires serious financial investment. therefore when choosing it, it is worth considering all planned options use.
How to choose a good server: what to look for
When choosing a server, you should pay attention to the following parameters:
Type (cloud or real);
Configuration (tower, rack or “blade”);
Specifications (RAM, processor, type of hard drive);
It is also worth remembering that the price of the server directly determines it opportunities. Therefore, very cheap tower configurations are suitable unless for a small office where they will provide work printer and data storage.
Type – cloud or physical
One of the cheapest server hosting options is use of cloud solutions from companies such as Microsoft or Amazon They have the following advantages:
No need to hire IT specialists to manage;
Constantly updated software and hardware server.
However, cloud servers also have disadvantages:
User data is physically stored inaccessible to them the owner of the hard drives, so that you can lose access to them;
Each employee in the office will need constant, stable, Desired high-speed internet connection
It’s dangerous to keep confidential on cloud servers, including secret information because it is impossible to provide physical access control.
However, the vast majority of small companies just the cloud server on which it will work file storage, mail client and some applications. However, for larger offices, more “serious” systems.
So, a physical server will need to be installed if:
It is planned to use a special ERP- or CRM application;
A print server is required;
It is necessary to store a large amount of data;
High Security Requirements confidentiality of information;
It is planned to scale the system.
Server configuration (form factor)
In terms of form factor, servers are divided into three type:
The first are executed in a case that looks like a regular system block. Due to the special internal configuration, they differ maximum silence in the work and do not require the installation of additional coolers. However, tower servers do not scale well – with need to install a new server will have to look for a place him.
However, such servers have inherited from the “ordinary” computers two more important advantages – the possibility of hot replacements and extended functionality with remote control.
If you need to scale or need to use several physical (not virtual) servers, it is worth paying attention to rack configurations. They allow you to place several high-performance systems in a limited area. Such servers run in special cases of reduced thickness. and are designed to be mounted in an appropriate rack.
The drawback of the rack configuration is that such servers require an external cooling system. And in large clusters – and a complete climate control. Therefore, such servers are notable for increased noise levels.
Blade servers are installed in a special enclosure and therefore provide even greater scalability. So, install a new the server can be done in one motion – simply by inserting it into a common chassis. It is it that provides power and controls the installed in it servers. This provides tremendous opportunities in the field. upgrade and scaling.
The use of the chassis can significantly increase performance of individual blade servers. So, in such a rack 16 configurations can be set, in each of which – 2 Intel Xeon 10C processor and 64 GB of RAM (blade model – HP ProLiant BL460c), and the whole structure will still be work quietly enough.
However, the chassis themselves are very expensive. therefore it makes no sense to purchase blade servers for small companies. Despite the widest scalability.
In fact, the technical specifications of the server as such have no special meanings. This is due to opportunities scaling. Server motherboards are usually equipped with multiple sockets for installing a processor, increased number slots for RAM, additional PCIe slots for peripherals and SATA connectors for hard drives (although it is better to use RAID arrays with separate controllers), etc.
Therefore, the server can always be scaled to fit your goals, installing a new processor, more RAM, a new hard disk etc.
It is worth remembering that in almost all cases, servers shipped without a built-in hard drive or RAID controller.
This parameter directly determines server performance. Than the more RAM in it, the better. However, in some cases buying a server with a huge value for this parameter is not appropriate.
So, for example, if the server is used in a small office for file storage, run CRM and mail, powerful configuration with 8+ GB just not needed. A solution with 4-8 GB of RAM will be enough memory.
However, when it comes to the server on which they run virtual machines, here the more GB of RAM – the it’s better. For example, specialized blade configurations are equipped with up to 64 GB of RAM. And the use of such a volume is justified – each a running virtual machine eats away part of the RAM.
In most cases, servers use specialized Intel Xeon processors. They provide a fairly high performance even under heavy load in the form of several virtual machines or real-time data transcoding time. However, for small companies, Intel-based servers Xeon is not needed.
If we are talking about a server for a small office, then there will be enough configuration with a special version of Intel Pentium.
But for highly loaded Intel Xeon servers really necessary – and often the only processor on the motherboard is not even enough.
Hard drive type
Almost all servers are sold without a hard drive. It is assumed that the system administrator is on his own install the drive or RAID array that he needs. Therefore, you can connect any desired hard drive to the server – SSD or HDD
HDDs are the most traditional solution. They low cost (especially in terms of price per gigabyte data). However, the data access speed of traditional hard drives are relatively small.
SSDs are a modern solution. They provide very high data access speed, even in random order and at high load. However, these drives are different high cost and short operational period, due to the limited number of rewrite cycles.
Thus, if data access speed is of paramount importance value, it’s worth taking an SSD. For all other cases HDD.
Today the market for fault tolerant and durable servers represented by the products of the following companies – HP, Oracle, IBM, Dell, Lenovo and Fujitsu. All of them produce approximately the same specifications and cross-compatible equipment.
However, one of the best server manufacturers equipment is considered HP. She produces universal, fault-tolerant, productive and durable devices. However HP servers are expensive.
Dell, IBM and Oracle release solutions for large companies. Them servers are usually even more productive – and therefore expensive.
But Lenovo and Fujitsu can find enough inexpensive models.
If we talk about specific models, the following are optimal:
For small offices – HP ProLiant ML Series Tower Servers. For example, the ML10 is one of the cheapest on the market. Or ML350 – top configuration with two Intel Xeon processors and 32 GB random access memory;
For medium-sized companies – HP ProLiant DL Series Rack Server. For example, the DL60 is a budget solution with one Intel Xeon processor and 4 GB of RAM out of the box. Or DL630 with a top configuration;
For large companies or work under heavy load – HP ProLiant BL Series Server Blades. For example, BL460c with two Intel Xeon processors and 64 GB of RAM. Or HP BladeSystem Series scalable blade systems.
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Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.