Cost of a Server
Do you wonder about how much a server costs? Servers are a must-have for many businesses, especially in this technological era. So how expensive is a server exactly? The starting price on a server these days can be a few thousand dollars, but could be much higher depending on your company requirements.
At Sirius Office Solutions, our clients are often surprised to hear the minimum prices of servers. You are definitely not alone in your astonishment. We will begin to answer the common questions we get when it comes to a server’s price.
By the time you are done reading this article, we hope that you will have a foundational understanding on why servers cost so much and hopefully help you determine the best course of action on whether you need a server for your business.
Cost Difference Between a Dedicated Server and a Cloud Server
Cloud servers are the new hot thing in IT. With the cloud you can spin up a server in a matter of minutes, integrate software as a service applications and easily manage your IT infrastructure through a central environment. With the cloud of course comes a much higher cost for a small business server over the lifetime of that server. For example, you may pay $250 as a monthly cost for a basic server in the cloud, which will cost you about $15,000 over five years. When you compare that to a minimal server dedicated to your environment, you may only have to pay about $5000 for similiar specifications.
One thing to note is that when you think about how much does a server cost over five years, you’d have to factor in maintenance costs, a service provider to support that server, hardware replacement, network equipment, cooling, and stored data costs. All of this will factor into the total cost of the server for your small business.
What Makes Up the Cost of Servers?
When we are asked to quote out a server for a client, we start by designing the solution to our customer’s specifications.
It can be difficult to provide a proper estimate on a server’s price because it can vary based on many factors. Typically, there are a few factors that determine the server cost.
What is the purpose of this server? A personal server cost will vary greatly when compared to a business server for example.
How many end users will the server and/or applications hosted by the server?
What specific server hardware components may be needed for your server for optimal performance?
Is a virtual private server required or is shared hosting an option for your specific use case?
For the purpose of the server, typically the server may be used for application hosting, email, file storage, windows domain controllers and more. You may need your own server to be a physical server or multiple physical dedicated servers.
Preferably we recommend that you virtualize each dedicated server for specific roles needed for your business. Multiple servers may increase the cost quite a bit, but it would be considerably less if virtualized on the same hardware.
Cloud servers of course are ideal, but you can easily spin up virtual servers on your physical hardware in your office as well. A cloud server would be a monthly fee, so it may make more sense for your business to look into cloud servers rather than a large upfront cost.
The end user count will also be a necessity and help guide the conversation around server specifications and licensing.
Server Cost Components
A minimum of $5000 entry fee is what you should expect for a small business server cost. Of course, this is a lot of dough. Let’s see exactly what we mean when we give these types of estimates…
There are a few main components in a dedicated server which include both server hardware cost and software costs. All of these factors will help answer the question of exactly how much does a server cost.
- Server Case – Included in price.
- Processor – Around $1000 minimum.
- RAM – Usually about $500 for a standard setup.
- Hard Drive – Close to $250 for one drive.
- Power supplies – Usually around $100 each.
- Operating System
- Windows Server – $800-$4000 per server
The first main part of a business server is the case. This is determined by the physical space you will be placing the server in. You will want to choose between a tower, a rack or a blade server.
The next part of a server is the CPU or Processor. This will determine the processing power of this machine.
There is a processor in every computer, but the CPU we are talking about is made specifically for a server.
Before choosing a processor, we need to know if you need one or two. We should also know how many cores are needed per CPU.
RAM is a very important part of your system. These memory chips allow for multiple virtual servers to run and more people to use the same server at the same time.
Server storage and hard drives is what allows you to store on your server. It is a critical component of your system and these days with the price so low you can store a huge amount of information for cheap. These days, a fast and modern Solid State Disk is a must. However, you can still use the traditional spinning disks for a lower cost.
For a server, we always advise using dual power supplies, which will allow you to keep working even if one fails.
In a standard small to mid-size business environment, you will see a Windows Server made for the needs of most applications. However, if you are hosting a web or specific application server, you may need to go the Linux route. There are multiple options when it comes to each, so discussions about your server environment size and requirements is in order.
Set Up of Your Server
Setting up a server can be a pretty complicated task. Most will hire an expert to take care of this for them. If you want to set up the server on your own, you can go through the following to try it on your own. If you are looking at server costing, you are going to want to factor in the hardware and software installation fees as well.
First step, you will have to physically place your server in the physical environment. If your server is rackmount-able you will need to add the rails to the server, and slide it into an empty spot on your rack. You may need to screw in a few screws to the rack, depending on your setup.
If it is a tower server, You just need to find a nice spot out of the way of the rest of the office. Preferably somewhere clean and where the server can be undisturbed. Usually, these devices can get pretty loud, so I suggest not placing this in your CEO’s office.
After you have your plan in place for the server, you should be able to follow steps for the installation process. If you did not add the Operating System to the server price at your initial purchase, you will have to factor in the software price and installation into the cost. First step will be putting the physical media into the server, and following the steps on screen to fully install the OS.
After this is complete, you will want to set up the applications and/or server roles on the server as required. Likely you will need a pro to do this part, unless you have experience of setting this up on your own.
Small Business Server Cost Conclusion
In conclusion, when looking at the cost of a server there are many things to take into account. You want to start at the average cost of a server at around $5000, and will likely go up from there. Things such as labor costs, rack mount hardware, and the operating system are all large factors to take into account.
If you need any help to find the right server for your needs or need help setting it up, feel free to reach out to give us a call at 888-475-7277 or through our contact form here.