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What Are the Best Tips for Choosing a Server?

By Alex Newth
Updated Feb 09, 2024
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Getting a server for business or personal reasons can help automate processes, increase data storage and improve network power, and there are several tips for getting the right server. When choosing a server, a user should look at the server’s operating system (OS), because this will determine what programs can be used on the server. Each server is built with a certain data rate, and the user should choose a server that fits his or her data needs. Heat is produced when the server runs, so the user should ensure that the area designated to hold the server can withstand the heat. Choosing a server that is physical or virtual has different pros and cons, and both should be looked at before selecting one.

Just like a computer, a server has an OS that affects what programs can be used in conjunction with the server. The two primary OS's used with a server are Windows® and UNIX®, but there are many others, as well. If the server is not going to be used in conjunction with programs and is only going to be used for storage, then the OS does not matter.

A server has a data rate that allows it to process and move data. While a user may find it appealing to get the fastest data rate, this is not always best when choosing a server. The user should look at how much data he or she transfers and get a data rate that fits that need. Getting a slower rate means the files will not move quickly enough, but a faster rate means the user will spend extra money.

When any piece of hardware runs, it produces heat. A server is much larger, and typically more powerful, so it tends to produce more heat than a printer or computer. Before choosing a server, the user should check to see how much heat is produced — the server’s product sheet should highlight this. He or she should then ensure the room where the server will be stored can handle this heat.

A server usually is a large physical model, but there also is such a thing as a virtual server, which stores the server program on a computer. A physical server is much larger and produces more heat, but it is stand-alone. This means, if one server crashes, the others are not affected. With a virtual server, it is easier to scale up and add new servers but, if there is a hardware crash, then all the virtual servers will go down at once. The user should weigh these pros and cons when choosing a server type.

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