Getting Ready to Buy a Server? WHY???

By: Chris Witt

I had the radio on for background noise and a commercial came on from a local IT services company touting that they will build servers for small businesses. I was sure that I misheard the commercial and waited for it to be replayed. I heard it correctly. They were indeed targeting the small business community to build them servers.

This is wrong on so many levels.

I’m sure they are competent and can deliver on their claims but what came to mind immediately is WHY SHOULD ANY SMALL BUSINESS HAVE THEIR OWN SERVER ONSITE?

  • Do they have a proper place to house it? NO! It will end up under a desk or in a closet. Not in a clean, climate controlled data center with stable cooling and power, including emergency power.
  • Do they have the staff to support it? NO! Small businesses are already running lean so it falls on a staff member as a secondary responsibility. Or worse, it is ignored. Servers require a certain level of care and feeding.
  • Do they have the security personnel on staff to protect it? NO! These are expensive and very specialized people that small businesses cannot afford to retain.

We have built a lot of data centers, servers, storage farms, networks, security, operational procedures and everything else that goes into operating a best practice computing environment. We would NEVER recommend a small business try to own and operate its own server farm. Why do you want to be in the data center business if it’s not your core business focus?

Over the last 20 years, we have laid out a strategic roadmap for our clients. In the early days, it started with them operating a data center built on best practices to maximize their stability and uptime. Then came colocation which alleviated the facilities burden for the organizations and provided a higher level of power and cooling stability – It’s expensive to build and operate a Tier III data center. This then morphed into managed services which setup the leap to the cloud.

Every business large or small needs computing services. There has never been a time when we have had this many options for getting these computing services. In today’s environment, you can look at:

Green CheckHosted SaaS options

Green CheckManaged cloud services

Green CheckCollocating your own servers

Red XBuild your own data center, build your own servers, operate your own servers

Before you jump into the deep end of the pool, make sure you understand what you are getting into. Do the financial analysis. Be an educated consumer and take into account:

  • The cost of building and maintaining a proper computing environment (or data center)
  • The cost of building and operating a server farm including storage
  • The FTE costs for the above
  • The future costs of equipment refresh every 3 – 5 years
  • The cost of downtime to your business

We have the financial modeling tools on hand to show you what this looks like. Understand your options and what they really cost. Why dump money into something that is not the core of your business and then put your business at risk when it fails? We can help.

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