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The InterNetX Blog provides you with news and background information on innovations concerning domains, servers, SSL and other industry-related topics.

Keeping an eye on the server selection – which server best suits my company?

We will give you an overview of the different server types and give you tips to help you make the right choice.

In the face of ever increasing data volumes in companies, the question of suitable storage and backup of this data often arises. Servers are an important factor in ensuring the functionality of the modern working environment. Hosting their servers makes sense for almost any company – regardless the size of the business. But it can often be difficult to know which server is the right choice for your individual requirements. We took a closer look at the different types and collected some tips for you what to look out for when choosing servers.

Choosing the right provider

Professionalism in service and support is an important factor when choosing a server provider. This is the only way to guarantee a high degree of safety, availability and performance. Especially in today's age, in which data is an important asset that can cause great damage once it falls into the wrong hands, security is an important aspect. Business servers should therefore be well protected. The availability of data and websites is another factor that is indispensable in our fast-moving times. Everyone wants to be able to access their data from anywhere at any time. Especially with online shops, a server failure can cause great damage - both financially and in terms of reputation. In addition, the performance must be sufficient and adapted to the individual needs. This also includes an adjustable server capacity, if required.

Dedicated servers

Dedicated servers are only intended for a specific purpose and the hardware components are usually only available to a single hosting customer. These hardware components are located in the provider's data center. The advantage of using this type of server is that the customer can make configurations according to his own wishes. Dedicated servers are mainly used for more complex web projects with a calculable resource requirement, but they can also be the right choice for ambitious developer projects or large online shops. Another advantage is the high safety factor. With the correct administration, nobody should be able to access the server except the hoster and the client.?Because dedicated servers are a self-contained physical device in a data center, extensions are limited. Here bare metal servers are the better alternative.

Bare Metal Server

A bare metal server is based on the dedicated server hardware. It too is a physically dedicated computer in the data center of the hosting provider. And here too, the resources are available to one customer alone. However, the Bare Metal Server combines the advantages of powerful, dedicated hardware with the flexible scalability and simple backup capability of a cloud-based infrastructure. This type of server is also suitable for web projects, but it is capable of handling demanding projects with continuously high resource requirements. Bare metal servers are generally more expensive than cloud solutions. This type of server is therefore primarily aimed at business customers and professional web projects. In contrast to dedicated servers, there is no need for time-consuming migration and updates if performance requirements increase later on. With bare metal servers, the operating system and services in the virtual machine (VM) can easily be migrated to more powerful hardware.

The cloud is entering the world of servers

In both shared hosting and cloud computing models, server resources are shared by several clients. Cloud servers are generally characterized by their high flexibility and usually guarantee maximum availability and reliability. In contrast to traditional hosting, this option offers comprehensive hardware redundancy, because the user data is not distributed througout a closed system, but mirrored over several hard drives. Cloud solutions also offer financial advantages, because customers only pay for the performance they actually used. This solution is therefore particularly suitable for flexible projects where the capacity utilization is not foreseeable from the outset. Resource requirements can be adjusted in real time.?With shared and cloud hosting models, however, the so-called "Noisy Neighbor"-effect must always be taken into account. This occurs when a participant consciously or unconsciously needs more resources than he is actually entitled to. This can affect the performance and stability of other clients. A cloud server is therefore ideal for entering the world of virtual servers. This solution is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized website projects for which a simple shared hosting package offers too few configuration options and not enough performance, but a dedicated server of its own would exceed the requirements of the server project. Cloud servers offer greater flexibility than traditional dedicated servers (ISO27001).

The server alone is not everything

In addition to the specific properties of the respective server, you should - as already mentioned above - pay attention to a few other things. One of them is the existence of an SLA or certification of the data center. Especially with Dedicated and Bare Metal Servers you should also pay attention to which hardware is being used. These are all factors that also influence the price.?What happens if my requirements are higher than expected and I initially decided to use the wrong server? It depends very much on the provider how quickly you can switch to another solution. This should also be taken into account when making your choice, especially if you don't yet have sufficient experience regarding the requirements. A server failure can cause great damage, but a complete server failure is in fact the worst case that can usually be prevented with a multitude of countermeasures.

The server market is growing

According to current reports, the server business is very lucrative. The global server market grew by 26% to approximately $18.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Two server providers in particular were able to achieve large growth. Besides IBM, this is mainly the Chinese company Inspur Electronics. According to this, the rapid increase mainly stems from the US and the Asia/Pacific region. But the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa) was also growing. Only in Japan and South America did server sales and turnover stagnate. At the same time as revenues, sales of servers increased by 8.8% to approximately 3.2 million devices in the last quarter. This is due to the fact mentioned at the beginning: More and more data accumulates in companies that have to be accommodated somewhere.

A company's server infrastructure is a very important factor for its success. When choosing the right server for your company, the planned area of application should always be clear, because different areas of responsibility have different technical requirements. In addition, however, there are many other factors to consider that are not listed here. Be it energy efficiency, price-performance ratio, compatibility, etc. The possibilities are manifold – if you are not an IT expert, professional external consulting can definitely make sense. It is also important to take stock at regular intervals and, if necessary, to decide on a new server solution or an upgrade. If you have chosen the wrong server with too little utilization, this is in most cases no problem: With a good provider, an upgrade should be possible within a few minutes. Further information and suitable server solutions can be found on our website.