We will then evaluate if it is convenient to rent a dedicated server in a specialized datacenter or if it is better to buy a dedicated server to host on our premises.
Table of Contents
Let's start by looking at what a dedicated server is.
What is a dedicated server
A dedicated server is simply an always-on computer connected to the internet. The server is connected to the internet via a fixed IP, which allows us to point a domain (or multiple domains) to the server.
The most used operating system for servers is linux, the distribution that is used depends on its use and the system administrator.
As this is a computer for our own exclusive use we have the ability to install any type of software on the server, this allows us a level of customization that is not possible in a shared environment.
What is a company server
A company server is a computer dedicated to the company's internal network and can have a wide variety of functions.
The operating system is chosen based on the function this server will have. An enterprise dedicated server is used for specific functions such as:
- Perform data backups
- Create a corporate network (intranet)
- Data organization
- Organization of different access levels
- Collaboration between users
Unlike a normal office workstation a company server allows for greater stability and is designed to stay on 24 hours a day.
How much does a dedicated server cost
So let's get to the point of this article: how much does a dedicated server cost?
When we want to calculate a dedicated server price there are some factors to take into account.
First of all we need to understand what kind of computer we need. Is a server with 32GB of RAM enough, or do we need a lot of power and therefore we have to go for 128GB of RAM?
How much space will we need? Will magnetic disks be enough or is it better to go for the new SSD disks?
Magnetic disks are slower but have lower costs for the same amount of space, while SSD disks have significantly higher performance but are smaller in size and higher in price. Precisely because of the performance, we decided to use only SSD disks for our hosting service.
Do we want to buy a server or is it cheaper to rent it? How much does a dedicated server cost to place in the office and how much does it cost to rent it?
We will see the answers to these questions in the next paragraphs.
Do you want the short answer to the question "how much does a dedicated server cost"? You can check our shopping cart for a dedicated server price. Keep in mind, that, unlike many other providers, we avoid selling servers with a 16GB RAM and 160GB hard drive. For such a service a cloud plan is enough, you can check our article to know the cost of a cloud plan. If you check, our servers have high performances.
We have compared the the dedicated server prices with the competition. With the same hardware and the same service we are the cheapest in Italy. Obviously we offer complete professional support on the server side, that is to say that all server side operations are our responsibility, you will never have to worry about the server if you choose our managed service.
Buy a dedicated server
Many people think that buying a server to keep in the office is a way to save money, in this section we're going to see why this is not an optimal choice.
As you've seen in our shopping cart a dedicated server costs from 50 to 200€ monthly, to which you'll have to add eventual license costs, and if necessary the managed service.
Often people think: I could buy a server for a few hundred euros, take advantage of the fiber connection of the office and the electricity and in a few months I'll be able to reduce the cost of the server.
The problem is that servers consume a lot of electricity, plus they are noisy and produce heat. That is why you should have a suitable environment to maintain your server. An environment that is air-conditioned and has a minimum of soundproofing. This is not to mention that the cost of the electricity bill could increase quite a bit.
The first cost to take into account is the purchase of the server, router etc. ...
A decent server costs 2000€, in addition to this you will have to have spare parts. This translates into high costs for a single server, while in a datacenter you can bring down these costs.
For example months ago one of our servers had a fan problem, which was changed in less than 20 minutes. If a server in the office has a problem, how long is it before it is identified and repaired? What are the repair costs?
From a hardware standpoint, an "in house" server has higher costs than renting a server from a specialized datacenter.
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, a dedicated server is a computer that is always on and connected to the network 24 hours a day. That is, you should have a battery system to use as an uninterruptible power supply in case of a power outage.
You should also have a generator, in case the outage lasts longer than the batteries do.
A data center has UPS systems and an auxiliary generator to provide electrical redundancy. These systems are tested and activated periodically to make sure they are working properly.
If you're not willing to risk hours of downtime (and possible server problems in the event that it is shut down by disconnecting the power), the facility you need to create to have electrical redundancy becomes so expensive that it doesn't justify the choice.
Redundant network and services
Just like the electrical grid, your connection must also be a redundant one. In addition, data centers are built in strategic areas with dedicated connections in order to ensure maximum connection speed.
In a residential area it is difficult to have such a connection. You should rely on a normal ADSL or fiber connection, and in case there is a problem on the network, you'll be offline until it is resolved.
A server needs systemic support in order to function properly around the clock. If you don't have such a structure and you have a problem overnight you could have an hours-long outage until your technician wakes up to fix it.
So it's important to have a structured system that allows you to react instantly at any time. This is why when I talk about how to choose a hosting I always say not to rely on a "one man company". If the damage happens after this person goes to sleep your site will stay offline until they wake up, and you have to hope that they are morning people and that they walk up early!
Renting a server
The cheapest choice and you have to trust me even if I'm biased, is to rent a server in a datacenter.
As I said the cost of a dedicated server ranges between 50 and 200€ per month, depending on the type of hardware you need.
You don't have any additional costs though. There is a hardware failure, it is repaired for free. There is a problem with the connection, in a few minutes/hours the datacenter solves it using another connection. There is an electrical down, no problem, it is powered by the batteries for a few minutes and the auxiliary diesel generator comes on.
Plus you have a team of systems engineers keeping an eye on the server 24 hours a day, if it goes down at night the problem is fixed without damage and without you noticing.
As you can see in the end it's not that expensive. If you think about the cost of a dedicated server and all that is behind it, it takes little to notice that trying to buy a server to keep it at home is much more expensive and less secure.