Once your business expands beyond a few members, it’s time for you to start to consider purchasing a server that will help you manage your network’s resources.

Choosing a server is a big decision for any business because your entire business will live on this server. Let’s start by looking at how to choose the best server for you — then we can talk about prices and how, oftentimes, the price you see isn’t necessarily what you’ll pay.

Picking the right server for you

These days, servers can help you manage your team’s emails, calendars, data, documents, images, software, printers and more. A good server will positively impact almost every aspect of your business.

That being said, certain models handle some tasks better than others.

Start by determining what exactly you want your server to do. If you own a small business, you’re probably wanting to do basic document, image or video sharing. In this case, a file-sharing server would be your best bet. If you have remote employees, a remote access server will help everyone connect to the same systems. Many offices require a print server to connect the staff to one central printer. You may also need to include hosting your business’s website and handling that website traffic.

You get the idea.

When it comes down to it, these are the most important questions to ask yourself when shopping for a server:

  • How much data storage do you need?
  • How much physical space do you have to store a server?
  • What kind of connectivity do you need?
  • Who will manage and troubleshoot any issues with the server?

And, of course:

  • How much will it all cost?

This brings us to our next point:

How much should you pay for a server?

A good server can make the difference between a successful company and one that isn’t ready to reach its full potential. This means that buying one will be an investment.

It doesn’t mean, however, that you should overpay.

Do a little research to find out which server would best fit your needs and which company makes it — Dell, HP, Cisco and Lenovo are a few of the big ones. Then take note of the price.

New servers can range anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on size and capabilities. But that price tag may be deceptive and isn’t always an indicator of whether you’re getting a good server or not. In fact, most quoted prices neglect to include operating systems, applications, installation costs, or maintenance fees.

One way to offset those fees is to look at used servers or ones that have been refurbished. They’re much more affordable, will usually ship to you faster, and can be much easier to repair because of increased availability in parts. While they were previously owned, these servers have been wiped clean and can last for up to 10 years.

Speak to the seller and ask about warranty options and what kind of technical support you can get before you buy. A trustworthy seller will work with you to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal.

About the Author

Tiffany Bloomer, President at Aventis Systems

Tiffany Bloomer is the President of Aventis Systems, a leading information technology solutions provider for small to medium-sized businesses. Tiffany has grown professionally with Aventis Systems for over 10 years and is responsible for creating and implementing short and long term company strategies as well as overseeing daily operations. She roadmaps goals for Aventis Systems, its employees and is always a readily available resource to help meet and exceed those goals. Ultimately, her main focus is to work relentlessly to make the lives of Aventis Systems’ customers and employees better. Tiffany and her husband Ben reside in Vinings, GA and spend each weekend playing with their two daughters.