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Servers and SMBs: Tips to make the picking process easier

When you run a small business, you’re constantly being asked to make decisions about what’s best for your growth. In the beginning, it might have just been you and your laptop calling all the shots. But as you add employees, you face one of the most critical decisions of all: Should I set up a server for my SMB?

The right entry-level server can be a total game changer. First, it’s important to understand how they can benefit your business and which server types can best support the work you do. In other words, choosing the right server for your SMB comes down to more than price alone.

Ready to take the first step? Let these three server selection tips guide your decision making process.

Get clear about how a server would help your SMB
At a point, most small businesses get too big to operate without a dedicated server. Chances are if you and even one or two other people are now running the show, a server could benefit your business.

Servers make it possible to quickly process more resource-intensive tasks while improving security.

For starters, servers make it possible to quickly process more resource-intensive tasks, like hosting a website, e-commerce store or secure email platform, while improving security. Considering cyberattacks increased 30% in the two months between July to August 2020, companies must take every opportunity to protect themselves. Using a small business server, you can conduct company-wide software or security updates to keep your sensitive company data safe.

With the help of a server, you can also access your data more efficiently, easily sharing it to increase collaboration among your team. The more users you have connecting to your network, the more important this becomes.

Explore which server specs best support your needs
Think of the programs and applications you use on a daily basis. This information will be essential while conducting the server research portion of your journey.

Everyone’s processor speeds, RAM requirements and hard drive capacity will be different depending on the number of users each application will need to support. However, rack servers and blade servers typically offer small businesses a nice balance between cost and efficiency:

If you want to grow your business, consider rack servers.
These space-savers are configured into rack units (RUs) that are roughly the size of a pizza box. Their improved cooling capabilities, organizational aspects (including cable management) and flexibility make them popular among actively growing businesses.

Just make sure you have a dedicated server room that’s ventilated enough to disperse the heat and mask the noise created by the fans.

If you want to ensure continuity and peak performance, try blade servers.
These larger units share a single chassis capable of holding numerous small rack servers known as “blade servers.”

They’re best known for improving the redundancy of each unit. Since individual blades are not associated with the power supply or networking hardware, users can more easily swap out faulty components without creating costly downtime. When running mission-critical applications like websites or essential databases, they’re virtually unsurpassed.

As the more expensive of the two options, it’s important to run a cost benefit analysis before investing.

And remember, you don’t have to make the decision all on your own. Just like you wouldn’t rent an office space without talking to a commercial real estate agent, you may want to schedule a server consultation before you commit.

Calculate your budget
Sometimes, it simply comes down to what server your business can afford – and that’s ok. Keep in mind that if you’re not in a position to spend the thousands needed to buy a server outright, you can always rent one for somewhere around $100/month.

More expensive servers are good if you need 24/7 uptime for something like an e-commerce store or to run complex applications like big data analytics software. If that doesn’t sound like your business, a less expensive, possibly older generation server you can later migrate might be best.

Deciding which server is best for your SMB is a big deal. The more carefully you consider your options, the better equipped you’ll be to set your team up for success.