Handy tips on buying a server

When considering a server purchase, there are a number of factors you should take into account – and we've got some handy tips here on issues you should be mulling over. For further advice to go with these tips, we also have a fuller buyer's guide to peruse here, and you might also want to have a gander at our tips on environmental monitoring for a server room.

Okay, so on with the tips, starting with...

1. Plan for future growth: Look for a server that can be scaled up as your requirements grow.

2. If your business is likely to suffer financially from a server outage, buy a server that includes readily available components and software, to minimise downtime.

3. Choose a manufacturer that bundles a comprehensive, easy-to-use management suite as part of the server package.

4. If your organisation has little or no IT staff, consider a value-added reseller (VAR) that will do a free on-site assessment of your infrastructure to help determine which server best fits your business requirements.

5. Determine how much room you want to devote to your network infrastructure now and in the future. Tower systems are fine, but if you have serious space constraints, a rack-optimised server may be a better choice.

6. If you go with a rack-mounted configuration, remember to factor in the costs for racks and accessories such as cabling trays and power supplies (including rack-mounted UPS devices).

7. Buy from established manufacturers or VARs. In going with a lesser-known manufacturer or reseller, you run the risk of having nowhere to turn for warranty service or support.

8. Warranty service should be three years with next-day, on-site service (except for value models, which usually come with one year warranties).