(The Hosting News) – As we all know running a small to medium sized business (SMB) can get quite expensive rather quickly. More and more business owners are electing to run their own dedicated server to help minimize their cost. Running your own dedicated server has many advantages verses renting one monthly from a hosting provider. However, I want to stress that although it is possible to turn a regular desktop computer into a server, it isn’t recommended because they are not designed to withstand “the all-day operations” that a server can withstand.
Before purchasing dedicated servers you need to make sure you have it equipped properly. Having a lack of resources will make it impossible for your server to run at maximum speed.
Here are some of the bare essentials you will need to have to run a dedicated server:
- 2.4 GHz AMD or better, or 2.8 GHz Intel or better
- 10 GB RAM or more
- 500 GB (RAID disk array recommended)
- RAID controller with high end RAID controller with a minimum of 128 MB read/write cache
- Disk subsystem performance, must support a read/write throughput of 1,800 KB/second
- Disk rotational speed of 10,000 RPM
Obviously you are going to need a 24/7 high speed internet access that is always connected to the internet. Generally a T1 or T3 line will be sufficient for running your own dedicated server. Bear in mind you will need to pay a monthly or yearly bill for a T1 or T3 line. It is vital that you buy a permanent or static IP address from your ISP (Internet Server Provider) as a dynamic IP will change your IP address every time a visitor wishes to view your website (with a dynamic IP address your website would be virtually useless).
So now that you know the bare essentials to starting your own home based server we should look at some additional cost. As mentioned above it is vital that you have a static IP. Expect to pay under $10 per month for your static IP and a one time starter fee. A T1 line is a good idea for your dedicated server as you are paying for a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and speed that exceeds DSL or cable. T1 lines are burstable (which allows you to pay as you go), but these allow you to use more bandwidth when you are experiencing higher volumes of traffic within a short amount of time. However, if you have a network of local computers, that will be using this T1 line it might be a good idea to purchase a bonded T1. Bonded T1 lines which offer full bandwidth to a single pipeline of multiple T1 lines. The prices for T1 line are $100-$200 per month (burstable), but bonded T1 lines are $600- 3,000 per month (plus the installation cost). Now that we have gone through some of the numbers let’s talk about the OS or operating system that you are going to need to install to run your dedicated server.
Linux or Window Dedicated Servers?
This is not going to be yet another article that says use Linux or Windows. I will just weigh the advantages of each Linux and Windows OS so that you can make an educated decision on which OS you would like to install.
Linux Operating System
Price – Linux is cheaper because it is an open source code, which is very dynamic meaning you can install all the bells and whistles on your OS. It appeals to a lot of server administrators because there is zero licensing cost for the software.
Script Support – Linux supports PHP, MySQL, and Perl languages. Windows on the other hand will not accept these languages. If you are going to be using these scripts or codes on your site it simply wouldn’t work if you used a Windows operating system. Scripts are not cross compatible for different platforms.
Conversions – Believe it or not Linux software is what a lot of server technicians start with prior to switching their websites over to Windows later on down the road. It comes cheap, but with the flexibility to transfer your site over to a Windows platform easily.
Windows Operating System
Price – Because Windows is not an open source OS it is going to obviously cost more than Linux. Expect to pay a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars depending on the version you decide to go with.
.NET Technologies Support – It makes sense that Microsoft has developed .NET technology and therefor is supported by the Windows operating system. Linux on the other hand will not support .NET technology.
Supports Microsoft Databases – Windows based dedicated hosting supports Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL. These databases won’t work on Linux dedicated hosting.
Microsoft Services and Tools – It should be no surprise that Frontpage, SharePoint services, MS office files, and Visual Interdev are supported by Windows dedicated hosting.
In order to decide which OS will work for your dedicated server it is vital that you carefully layout the development of your site. Budget your money and decipher how much you have to spend on the hardware and monthly expenses. The ample amount of system requirements must be obtained or your website will not operate at maximum capacity. Choosing between Linux and Windows is really a personal preference decision, and it might be best to have a consultation with your developer to find out which coding languages they would prefer to use. Remember that if you decide to use the Windows OS you can expect to pay more for the licensing.