When a business starts to grow, so too does its data and network needs. When you run a larger business, getting a server to link your computers and data under a single network is essentially a requirement – for safety, accessibility, speed, and so much more – but for a small business the decision to get a server might not always be so clear-cut. And one factor you might be considering is the cost of a server, and whether it’s worth it or not.
So how much does it usually cost to set up a server for a small business? You have to consider the cost of hardware, installation, and maintenance and repair. The usual cost of the server hardware fit for a small business falls between $1000 and $4000, while installation will rack you up another few hundred dollars.
Why Your Small Business Should Consider Getting a Server
Not every business needs a server. There are many small businesses out there that can continue operations indefinitely just fine without ever thinking about getting their own server. But if your business is one that might need a server, here are some reasons why it might start to make sense:
- Growth is really starting to happen, meaning you have more and more computers to handle and you don’t want to keep dealing with the Cloud; one main computer for server handling would be simpler
- Your team requires access to company-owned data storage solutions and secure email access
- Access to your data should be fast and constant at all times, something the Cloud can’t guarantee
- You’re still using the router/Wi-Fi modem that your ISP gave you for your network security, putting your business at an unnecessary risk
- In the worst-case data scenario, you have no kind of back-up plan
If you can relate with any of the points above, then you might be thinking about getting a server for your small business. But how much exactly does a server cost? We break down how much servers can cost in this next section:
Small Business Server Cost
Here are all the factors that go into determining the cost of your business server:
- Cost of hardware: Your hardware is the machinery, the actual items involved in your server and keeping your server secure
- Cost of installation: Unless you have an IT pro on your team, you will have to hire an IT professional to help you install and set-up your server/servers and network
- Cost of maintenance and repair: Your server and network won’t always run as smoothly as you wish, so you need to account for average maintenance costs. This may also include fixing or repairing the hardware at times
Let’s dive into each factor:
Cost of Hardware
Your hardware cost will vary depending on a number of factors, including your speed needs, security, storage, and bandwidth. Like all things, the better and more functional your hardware, the more expensive it’s likely to cost. If you need more storage or want it to be faster, then you need to be ready to pay a higher price.
The average price for server hardware falls anywhere from $1000 to $4000. This includes everything you will need to set your servers up successfully, although the price can be higher or lower than this average range depending on the items you buy.
Remember: when it comes to hardware, the possible upgrades can really rack up the overall price. For example, opting to get a SSD rather than a SATA would grant your servers higher performance, but it would also cost an average extra of $500.
It’s also possible to rent a server for less than $100 per month; we go into the advantages and disadvantages of buying versus renting below.
Cost of Installation
After purchasing and securing your hardware, you will need to have it installed. Figuring it out on YouTube or having the techy member of your team try to do it may work, but the cost of an improperly connected server and the possible fallout from that simply isn’t worth the risk. Always go with an IT professional to help you with your installation.
Depending on your chosen IT expert, installation could cost several hundred dollars or up to a few thousand dollars, as installing the server is never a quick and easy task.
Cost of Maintenance and Repair
Keeping your server running like brand-new will require occasional maintenance from an IT professional. You can expect anywhere from 1 to 10 hours of maintenance per month on average, even if nothing drastic breaks down or stops working; all just from updates and general maintenance server charges alone.
Finally, you should take into consideration the possibility of hardware breaking down or accidents causing damage to the hardware for whatever reason. Your business will need to absorb these costs.
Renting VS Buying: Which Server Option Should Your Small Business Choose?
Deciding whether your team should rent or buy a server for your small business really depends on your requirements and the options in your area. But there’s actually a third option that many people are unaware of known as colocation (purchasing a server from a dedicated server company and hosting it in their data center), which we discuss below.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of renting, buying, or collocating a server:
- The server cost for small business becomes a single fixed fee per month which includes everything you need for your server, such as security, power, cooling, hardware, and professional support
- Assistance with server issues at any time
- No need to try to figure out the best and latest hardware on the market, as they will provide it for you
- Reduced overall cost of hardware
- Maintenance or repairing isn’t on your shoulders (as long as you don’t break the hardware)
- It can be costlier option long-term
- No direct physical access to the stored data on your server
- You don’t truly own your server, so there is a lack of ownership involved
- A single upfront payment to purchase all the hardware and you will never have to worry about monthly fees
- You get to choose exactly what you want, so your server is completely customizable for your needs
- If you stick to the same hardware for years, you will save costs compared to renting
- You have all physical direct access to your hard drives so you can store all your data offline as it is not a cloud server
- If hardware breaks down, the total cost of replacing or repairing is on you
- You have no extra security to keep your server data safe
- You will have to find IT professionals to help you with installation and maintenance
- Expenses for networking, cooling, and power will be on your business
- Secure monitoring and storage of your business server around the clock
- Remote access 24/7 to your small business server
- Not a cloud server
- Hardware costs will be all upfront, since you are still buying a server or servers
- Monthly hosting fees for the dedicated server
- Your business is still responsible for any hardware replacement if hardware breaks down
Examples of Server Hardware and Their Prices
For businesses with minimal server needs, such as small e-commerce businesses or businesses needing their own file storage, email servers, file server, and company website, or servers for home businesses, here’s the perfect small server for business requirements:
|Server: E3-1240 v5 (3.50 GHz)||$1259|
|RAM: 32GB RAM||$213|
|HDD: 500 GB SSD||$65|
|TOTAL||$1537 (with tax)|
For businesses with moderate server needs, such as businesses needing server extensive applications, powerful SaaS applications, or larger e-commerce websites, we may go with the Intel Xeon W-2125:
|Server: Intel Xeon W-2125||$1627|
|RAM: 32GB RAM||$213|
|HDD: 2x 500 GB SSD||$130|
|TOTAL||$1970 (with tax)|
And for businesses with extensive server needs, we recommend the Dual Intel Xeon Silver:
|Server: Dual Intel Xeon Silver 4114||$3550|
|RAM: 64GB RAM||$213|
|HDD: 500 GB SSD||$130|
|TOTAL||$3893 (with tax)|
Equip Your Small Business with a Server Today, with Abacus
Abacus makes complex decisions like getting one server or multiple servers for your small business easy, because we offer the best and most trusted managed IT services around. Make sure you choose the right one, whether you could use servers for storage requirements or servers for safety requirements, or anything else, and understand all server options available.
Call us today and see what our IT experts advise about your small business server, and let us deal with all your IT needs right away.