Your startup is slowly but surely growing and so are its needs. Your business website is attracting more visitors to the point where it has become difficult for your shared server to handle the increasing workload. As a result, you need reliable and stable performance so your website visitors can get a smoother web experience. To top it all off, you now have to run more demanding applications which require additional resources and control.
Sadly, you are operating on a shoestring budget so you can not afford the luxury of a high-performing, robust dedicated server. If that wasn’t disappointing enough, you don’t even know how much a server actually costs? So, you are down to making wild guesses. If all that seems familiar to you, I am glad you are reading this.
The first thing you need to do is to assess your performance needs. If your business expects more visitors for instance, you should consider getting a more powerful dedicated server with a higher bandwidth and minimum load times , but if you don’t experience high traffic, an entry-level, cheap dedicated server should suffice. Obviously, it will directly influence the price of the dedicated server. The more powerful hardware your dedicated server has, the more expensive it will be.
Another thing you should keep in mind is what you are planning to use your dedicated server for. A dedicated server can serve multiple purposes and you should get the hardware resources that can help you do what you want to do in the best possible manner. The type of applications will determine the type of processor, memory, and storage capacity you’ll need. For instance, if you are planning to use your server for gaming, you should get higher bandwidth and lower latency.
On the contrary, if you want to use your server for hosting a website, a cheap dedicated server can handle it easily. You should also consider security, reliability and scalability as your business will only grow bigger with time. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have to change your hosting provider each time you want to scale up your activities. Similarly, you need to choose between renting, buying or co-locating a server depending on your business needs.
In order to make an informed choice, it is imperative to know about the pros and cons of renting a server. When you rent a server, you gain access to top of the line infrastructure of the server provider against a fixed monthly cost. What’s more; you don’t have to pay for power, heating, cooling, security and hardware replacement.
The huge cost savings can be tempting enough to lure small businesses to consider this option, but they need to understand that they won’t have physical access to their data. Additionally, renting might not be a great option if you want to use the server for many years or even decades. If you want a server that you will use for a few months or a year, you should rent a server as a small business.
Akin to renting, purchasing a server comes with its own ups and downs. In addition to paying the higher upfront costs to get physical access to your data, you also need to incur all the additional costs such as power, heating, cooling as well as repair and replacement costs. It can take years to reclaim your initial investment. If you want to use the server for the long haul, it is more prudent to purchase the server since this option promises a better ROI down the road.
Colocation is all about purchasing a server and hosting it on a third-party data center. Yes, you will have to pay the hardware cost upfront as well as the cost of hardware replacement. In return, you can rest easy knowing that your data is securely stored and monitored round the clock. What’s more, you can take advantage of the network, power, and cooling resources offered by the data center. Small businesses should only co-locate their servers when they can not manage their own servers on-premises due to resource constraints.
When you purchase or rent a server, your service provider is responsible for setting it up. Some providers charge you for it while others do it for free. Usually, you can expect to pay somewhere between $100-$150, but the cost of setting up a server can increase drastically if you are planning to use it as an email host, to back up your data or for disaster recovery purposes.
When calculating the overall cost of owning the server, you should also factor in the cost of maintenance. These server providers offer round-the-clock support which means that you will not have to hire a professional to oversee your servers. As a rule of thumb, you should set aside anywhere between $100 to $300 for server maintenance.
The cost of the server usually depends on your business needs and the pricing plan you choose. If you are planning to build your own server, it can cost you anywhere from $1000-$10,000 depending on the hardware you choose. On the contrary, if you are planning to buy a server from a service provider, expect to pay anywhere between $100-$500 per month.
I hope that this article has answered all your questions regarding server costs and how much does a server cost a small business!