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How To Choose A Rackmount Server
How to Choose A Rackmount Server

How to Choose The Right Rackmount Server

Hosting a server on premises at your small business comes with many advantages. It gives you full control of the server, software, and elements related to the server such as the ability to add more terminals and grant access to the right individuals inside and outside of the premises. There are several different types of servers and various form factors, however a rackmount server is ideal for many businesses. Rack mount servers take up a small space in your building and are generally easy to install. These servers can offer increased security and require few resources to get up and running.

There are many rackmount servers out there in the market with different sizes, capabilities, and for different operating environments. Here is a quick guide on choosing the right rackmount server for your business.


One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a rackmount server is size. Will you be putting the server in a pre-existing rack? Will it be a free-standing? If you plan to install the server into a rack, size is critical to ensure that it fits properly. Rackmount servers are typically 19” wide and the standard height is 1.75” (1U). They can also come in a larger 2U, 3U, or even 4U heights that allow more room for additional processors and other components.


For most businesses, the server manages all the computer functions including storage and sharing of files. This means that the server is responsible for storing financial and customer data, managing emails, printers, and running software. The amount of memory and storage you will need will vary depending on the specific demands you will be putting on your server. When starting out, consider a server with at least 8GB of memory, at least 1TB storage space and about 8 to 16 processor cores. Think of a core as similar to a CPU. Therefore, a 10-core processor works like ten CPUs combined.

You can always upgrade your server components later on, should you need even more capabilities. When doing so, be sure to ensure that the parts match with those already in the server. They should be from the same manufacturer and for the specified model.


Virtualization is the act of creating many virtual computers, each allocated a slice of the available memory, number of processors, and storage to run a specific function different from the other. A software called hypervisor distributes these resources among the virtual computers to enhance their functionality. Each virtual computer works independently.

The main hypervisors in the market are Microsoft's Hyper-V and VMware’s vShphere. If you are running all the programs exclusively on the Microsoft platform, the Hyper-V may be a cost-effective option. However, if you need support for other operating systems such as Linux, consider alternatives like vShere or Oracle VM.

Operating Systems

The most common Operating System in servers is Windows. It has been around for long and has excellent features for your business. Moreover, you are likely to find many professionals who are skilled in diagnosing Windows-based server applications. However, this OS does not support non-Microsoft applications. If you are likely to use open source software, consider purchasing a server that can allow different OS through virtualization and also check other OS programs such as SUSE, Red Hat, or Ubuntu.

Your Budget vs. The Requirements

Many small and medium businesses are constrained by lack of adequate funding. If you are in such a situation, you may be looking for the least expensive server in the market. However, it is good to strike a balance between quality and price. Make a projection of your computing power needs for the next five years and pick a server that can handle the requirements until then. It does not need to have all the storage requirements and memory for now, but the available capacity should run for at least three years. This way, you avoid the costs that come with disposing of the server and purchasing a bigger one in the near future. It may be more expensive than buying a high capacity server today.

To order or if you have any questions, please contact one of our Server Experts today.

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