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Five things you need to know before buying a server

Five things you need to know before buying a server
19 September 2023
Five things you need to know before buying a server

Over the years, we have seen first-hand more organisations turn to the refurbed sector – more so since the pandemic as organisation seek to gain the most value from their server equipment.

In part two of this series on servers, we have collated five things that every organisation must consider when in the market for a server – whether new or refurbished.

1) Energy use myths

First and foremost, the idea that new equals more energy efficient is no longer the case when it comes to the server market. While some newer generation servers may include power-reducing features compared with previous versions, on a £ for £ basis.

Equally, when looking at broader industry reports, these will typically omit the full lifespan of that piece of equipment. For example, only the server in use will be considered, not the power/carbon it took to produce and build the server, ship it, and then potentially retire it.

Organisations must readjust their mindsets when it comes to energy use and servers. By taking into account the wider picture, it is easier to appreciate how refurbished servers might provide a more efficient energy investment.

2) Is your capacity fit for purpose?

Storage and servers go together like tea and biscuits (have you received a pack of biscuits with your ETB order lately?) or strawberries and cream; so of course, storage capacity must be a major consideration for any organisation. However, in addition to being conscious of the storage capacity you need to house your data, you also must include a little extra for RAID or to ensure there is adequate backup available.

For example, if an organisation requires 3TB of storage capacity, it may need 5TB of raw storage depending on which RAID config is being used.

It is also a must to remember how many people might be accessing the server at any one time as this will impact the speed of access. Equally, different considerations will require different setups; should you only be using the server for file access, a powerful CPU might not be needed – instead, a CPU with a high numbers of cores is a must.

3) Extending a server’s lifecycle

It might seem like a no-brainer, but making sure that your server operates for longer does come down to how you run and look after it. To store and operate your server stock for a long time (Meta recently announced it plans to use its existing servers for the next five years), you need to keep them cool, in a dust-free environment and a location with adequate space surrounding it to ensure it doesn’t overheat.

Maintaining and servicing the equipment is vital too, as is completing relevant software updates. Like a car, if you keep a server clean and don’t overuse it, then you could significantly extend the lifespan of the equipment. This also goes for when you buy refurbished – if you care for the equipment, its lifecycle will be extended.

4) Maximising your budget with refurbished IT

As we outlined in the first part of this series, while the server market is expected to grow marginally over the next four years, there are more mixed reports when it comes to overall IT spending. Some estimates say spending has dipped given the unpredictable economic environment, while others predict 2-3% growth this year. Either way, the need for digital transformation projects remains high, so doing more with less or buying more and spending less is a must.

When it comes to the refurbished sector though, product availability is high and with potential savings of up to anywhere from 30-75% depending on the product type, organisations can ensure any IT programmes don’t stall business growth, all while benefitting the wider circular economy.

5) Prepping for future innovation

The world is a buzz with chatter about AI, digital transformation, declouding (as we mentioned in part one here amongst other innovations. When it comes to making sure your servers are ready for this, you must look at the computing power needed to support whatever the innovation is. Whether it’s the CPU, RAM, or general storage, organisations must consider what’s needed down the line and not just at the time of purchase. This can require an element of organisation – particularly as it might mean that a GPU is also needed, and this always possible to fit after the point of sale.

Still have questions? To learn more about the server that is right for your organisation or to see what servers ETB has available in stock, please visit Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our sales team directly at +44 (0)1556 610167.

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