8 September 2020

Choosing the correct type of Server for your Business

By Louise Fuller-427 Views-No Comment

Choosing the correct type of Server for your Business

The world of IT can be difficult to navigate, especially if you are not familiar with it. When setting up a business there are so many things to take into consideration – IT and infrastructure being one of them.

Where do you start? Well, a good place to start is with a server. Servers are computer systems that provide services, data, programmes etc. to other computers, known as ‘clients’, over a network.  Whenever computers share resources with client machines, they are called servers.

But what server is best for you? Your business? Budget?

In this blog we will discuss some server options, their pros and cons and how they could suit you.

 

Shared Servers

Generally, the most economical option, with a shared serve, your data will reside on one server along with others, bringing the overall cost down as it will be shared with other clients. Users each get a section of a server in which they can host their files. Each customer using the shared server has access to features like databases, monthly traffic, disk space, email accounts, FTP accounts and other add-ons offered by the host (the ‘host’ being us!)

Ideal for – start-ups, small businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs.

Pros

  • Lowest cost in server options.

Cons

  • Relatively low server performance / performance: often several hundred or, in the worst case, several thousand customers share a single server.
  • Little configuration options.
  • If another customer uses the server heavily, their own performance will drop.
  • You don’t have your own IP so if another customer operates eg illegal activities, your own web page will be rated worse by search engines and companies and you could be shut down.

Cloud Servers

A cloud server is a virtual server hosted on a third-party infrastructure. This is done on an open network via the Internet. Cloud servers have cloud applications which are web-enabled, meaning, instead of being based on physical hardware, they are based in a shared virtual environment managed by a cloud-hosting provider. Examples of cloud providers are Google’s Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. Cloud servers are secure, fast and stable. This type of server can be used for any business but is ideal for start-ups and small businesses. This is because, they avoid the hardware issues seen with physical servers, and they are likely the most appropriate option for businesses wanting to keep their IT budget down.

Ideal for – start-ups, small businesses.

Pros

  • Significantly cheaper than a Dedicated Server.
  • Server performance regardless of the activity of other customers.
  • More server performance / performance compared to shared hosting.
  • Own IP (usually)

Cons

  •  Less server performance / performance compared to dedicated server.
  • Increased cost compared to a shared server

Dedicated Servers

The customer is assigned a physical server (hardware) that he can use solely for their own purposes. They do not share the server with any other customers and get the full power and all resources available on the server.

Ideal for- Those who have the budget

Pros

  • Greatest possible server performance.
  • Own IP
  • Server performance regardless of the activity of other customers.

Cons

  • Highest cost

Mail Servers

A mail server is a type of application server, used for sending and receiving emails through a network. Mail servers receive emails sent to a user and store them until requested by a client on behalf of said user. Having a mail server always allows for a single machine to be properly configured and attached to the network, it is then ready to send and receive messages. For businesses large or small this option is great due to better security and control of company information. If there wasn’t a mail server every client machine would need to have its own email subsystem continuously running.

Ideal for – All businesses

Pros

  • You have your greater security and control.

Cons

  • Less control of managing company emails.

 

Database Servers

A database server focuses on storing safely, large amounts of data used by companies and their customers. It is mostly required for businesses with highly active eCommerce platforms, web-based applications, and websites for example, Twitter or Uber. The reason companies such as these us database servers is because databases need to be accessible to multiple clients at any given time and can require large amounts of disk/storage space. A database server (the hardware) will run database server applications (the software) and respond to numerous requests from clients. Examples of database server applications include Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Informix and DB2. Ideally if you require a server to manage, significant customer interactions and data this is the server for you.

Ideal for – All types of businesses but mostly those with high customer traffic

Pros

  • High storage capability

Cons

  • Can have a high start up cost.