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Purchasing a server for any business is a very big decision, and if not done properly, can reduce productivity or cause loss of money in the business. Below is information and help for what to look out for when purchasing a computer server. It is important to also note that every business is unique and may require more or less of what is listed below.
Purchasing a new or used server or server equipment can be a method of saving the company additional money; however, it can cause lost money if that hardware or server does not meet the company's needs. When looking at purchasing a used main server or file server for a computer network, ensure that the server is going to meet the company's needs as far as performance and reliability. Unless the perfect used solution is found, we highly recommend purchasing a new main server, file server, network server or database server, as it will have the latest hardware innovations as well as have a warranty, which will allow parts to be replaced or repaired within a short period of time, keeping the network up and running.
However, other servers such as a print server or hardware such as a router or firewall can be purchased as used and meet most companies' needs.
When purchasing a server, it is important that either the company or the network administrator consider the following:
|Case and rack||
When looking at the case or rack, look at the expandability as well as the accessibility of hardware. Determine how may drive bays if any are available as far as what drive bays (5.25" vs. 3.5") or available hard drive bays in the computer.
For all networks, backup is and should be an important consideration. Most companies will need important data, such as company or customer related information, backed up on a daily basis. When looking at a backup solution, consider the following.
|Memory||Memory is and has always been an important consideration when looking at purchasing a server or any computer. Determine the amount of memory included in the server as well as verify if that memory can be upgraded in the future. It is recommended that at least 512MB of Memory be installed into the network or file server.|
|Network card||With the increase with more than one computer in the house and with broad band solutions, sometimes requiring a network card a network card is becoming an important consideration when purchasing a computer. Network cards allow users to connect to other computers and have small networks in their home or office. This allows for data transfer, file sharing, Internet connection sharing, printer sharing and various other helpful uses.|
|Operating system||When setting up a new network verify the operating system or networking software is included with the server. If no operating system is
included with the computer, verify what operating systems have been tested with the computer. For example: Novell, Windows NT, Windows 2000,
Unix, Solaris, Linux, SCO... Etc.
It is also important that when setting up a network that the operating systems being installed or included is something that the network administrator is familiar with or requires for compatibility with other software.
|Power||For large networks or servers, power may be an important consideration. Look at the available amount of power supplies as well as the capacity
of each of the power supplies.
Additionally, if you believe power may be an issue in the future, look at the availability of upgrading or adding additional power supplies to the server.
|Processor||The computer processor and the amount of processors the computer can support is one of the most important considerations when looking at
a server. When looking at the server, consider the following:
When looking at purchasing different computers, you will likely hear different stories, some good and some bad. Regardless if the story is good or bad, these stories are always based on the experience of that user. While it may be true that the user had a bad or terrible experience with that computer, all computer manufactures have had users who have had a bad experience and there is no such thing as a bad or perfect computer manufacturer. Below is a listing of various things to consider when purchasing a computer and in some cases how to tell the good from the bad.
|Documentation||Verify if the server or networking device comes included with documentation. While most hardware, such as a router or hub, will not require
documentation for most network administrators it is important that a server be included with some documentation that will help with configuring
the server or server components. This comes in real helpful for configuring jumpers and upgrade information.
|Location||We use location as a description to describe several different topics. First, what is the location of where the network hardware or server
is purchased: If the network hardware or server is purchased at a local retail store, can the network hardware or server be returned if unsatisfactory
or incompatible to that store? If the network hardware or server is purchased through mail order or directly through the computer manufacturer
or reseller, where can the network hardware or server be returned if unsatisfactory or incompatible?
Second, can the store location of where the network hardware or server was purchased service the purchased product? If not, where is the closest location to where it can be serviced?
Third, if the network hardware or server is purchased directly from the computer manufacturer and is shipped through mail, how is it shipped?
What is the time period for the network hardware or server to arrive to your destination? What happens if the network hardware or server is
damaged during shipping?
|Return||Verify with the computer manufacturer if it is possible to return or have a money refund for the network hardware or server. Many computer
manufacturers will not refund your money but instead may offer an exchange for another product of similar qualities. Verify with the manufacturer
or the reseller what their return, refund, and exchange policy is.
|Service||Service is an important consideration to look at when looking to purchase a networking hardware or a server. The service is how many companies
describe the repair of the device purchased if it's to become unusable. Below is a listing of what services to look for.
|Support||Manufacturer support for most companies will be a very important consideration as if an issue arises with the computer you must be able
to contact a support representative. Things to consider when looking at the support options of a computer are listed below.
|Upgrade ability||While this option may not be considered at first when purchasing a computer, it is an important consideration. Below is a listing of different
options to look for when looking to upgrade a computer.
|Warranty||Finally, what warranty is offered by the computer manufacturer? How long is the warranty? Does the warranty cover both hardware and software issues?|