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What is the best server? The answer is never clear

I seldom say no to an old friend looking for a helping hand. So when my ex-boss asked me for a few words of wisdom on how to buy servers, I accepted.

It was not an easy task and I found myself in front of a consultant that wanted him to buy six £6000 servers for 40 computers.

Buying a server is never as simple as buying a workstation, let alone buying six of them for such a price.

I was puzzled when the consultant explained to me that the investment was necessary to maintain 24x7 uptime with maximum performance etc.

Returning to the servers, since none of the jobs were time critical or life-threatening, I proposed to get four cheap workstations with RAID hard disks and beef up their memory. Use two and save two if there were any problem, all for the price of a single super expensive server.

Buying the flashiest and most powerful system around is not the best way to make a customer happy, especially when it comes at such a price.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.