How to Set Up a Server for Your Business

published Nov 24, 2022
2 min read

Virtually every company is an IT company in today’s hyper-digitized world. If you want to make the most of your increasingly crucial digital resources, your business should have a dedicated server, possibly even several. That means learning how to set up a server.

You can use dedicated servers to improve your website’s functionality, streamline data-sharing within your company network, boost processing power and more. Regardless of the specific use cases, setting up a server for the first time can be intimidating. Here is how you can do it to meet the needs of your organization and customers.

1. Determine Your Capacity Needs

The first step in setting up a server is determining what you want out of it. One of the most critical considerations in that area is deciding how much capacity your server needs. Once you have a rough idea of your capacity needs, you can make more informed decisions later in the process.

A few factors to consider when determining capacity needs include the number of users, data volume, average web traffic and the needs of the programs you run. These should give you an idea of how much RAM, processing power and hard drive space your server should have. Remember to provide more than what you need now, as data volumes may grow by more than 20 zettabytes a year between now and 2025.

2. Form a Budget

Next, it is time to create a budget. Knowing your processor, RAM and storage needs will help narrow your equipment options, making it easier to form an accurate budget. However, these are only some of the factors to consider. Leave room in your spending plan for items like security, cooling and server room rent.

With your infrastructure needs in mind, look at the average costs between different solutions and vendors. It is also a good idea to look at any available customer case studies to get an idea of your expected ROI. Compare this information with your current financials to determine a working budget. Servers can quickly become expensive, so set a hard cap and expect the most cutting-edge solutions to be out-of-budget.

3. Choose Between On-Premise and Cloud

Another vital decision you must make to set up a server is choosing between on-premise and cloud solutions. A physical, on-site server gives you more control over your server room’s equipment, monitoring and operations. It may also offer lower latency, depending on the setup. However, it requires sufficient space and may need more work to scale up.

By contrast, cloud servers offload the management and physical infrastructure responsibilities to a third party. While that means a small sacrifice in control, it can free up your IT staff’s time and may be easier for companies with minimal server experience. The cloud is also more cost-effective and scalable, so it may be ideal for smaller businesses with ample growth opportunities. Review your needs, budget and preferences to find which is best for you.

4. Shop Vendors and Equipment

Once you have decided on all these requirements and preferences, it is time to build your server. For on-premise solutions, that means shopping for equipment that meets your capacity and budget needs and for cloud alternatives, that means comparing vendors. Compare multiple shops in either case before deciding and be sure to leave room to grow, either with new hardware or upgradable cloud resources.

With a cloud server, your vendor will manage the infrastructure, so you do not have to worry about putting everything together. If you’re constructing an on-site solution, it may still be best to have a specialised server company build it for you. Creating a server room often means managing multiple vendors and part orders, which can be a headache for smaller IT departments. Outsourcing this step will also ensure experienced experts help you set it up.

Digital Transformation 2021

5. Secure Your Server

While it may feel like you are done after constructing a server room or buying a cloud solution, there is one more important step — you must ensure your server is secure before using it. Small businesses may not seem like ideal targets for cybercrime, but 52% of SMBs experienced a cyberattack in 2021 and 60% go out of business within six months of these attacks.

If you use a cloud vendor, ensure it meets high-security standards before doing business. If you have an on-premise solution, install tools like automated network monitoring and up-to-date anti-malware software. In both cases, you should restrict access permissions as much as possible, implement backup systems, encrypt all data and require multi-factor authentication for all users.

Set Up a Server for Your Business Today

Setting up a server for your business can be fairly straightforward with today’s resources. Most of your server’s success hinges on knowing what you need to meet your specific goals.

Follow these five steps to set up the ideal server for whatever your company needs. You can then fully capitalize on digital transformation to optimize your internal operations and customer-facing services.

Emily J. Newton

Emily Newton is a manufacturing journalist who regularly covers the industry trends. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. Subscribe to read more from Emily.