If you have a business of any kind or work in an environment where you need to connect several virtual devices, you are going to need a server for this area. A server is where all of your data for your office or network can be stored, and is the machine that will connect all of your printers, computers, etc. to a single network. If you want to be able to easily access all the printers, scanners, or shared data, then you are going to need a network. Needless to say, it is a very important, if not a critical piece of equipment for any business.
You are probably thinking that you will need to go out right now and purchase a brand new server so that your office will be at optimal networking efficiency. That is not true in the least. In fact, buying a new server is more than likely a waste of your precious money, especially at this time. Your best bet would be to either buy a refurbished server, which are very high quality and are guaranteed to work if they are truly refurbished, or build one yourself from used server parts. Not only will that save you a buck, but if you buy refurbished server parts, then you are keeping them out of landfills, which is helping the environment.
If this is the endeavor you plan to take on, you need to know what the most important pieces are and what they do. Below are just a few of the most important pieces of equipment that go into making a server. Yes, there are several components that go into making a server, or any computer. However, the following are arguably the most important. They include processors, memory, power supplies, and so on.
In order for your server to perform at maximum efficiency, you are going to need to outfit it with a good processor and memory setup. Processors are what allow you to take on more demanding workloads and handle more users on your network, while memory (RAM) is what enables you to handle applications simultaneously and work faster. Processors mean you can work tougher and harder, while memory lets you work smarter and with a much quicker efficiency.
There are a multitude of processors out there, from Xeon, to Pentium, to PA-8700, and so on. Determining which one will work best with your business is very important, and the same can be said for the amount of memory. Luckily, both of these pieces, like the rest we will talk about, are in large supply refurbished with many used computer suppliers. A processors clock speed, front side bus, and cache can all be factors with how powerful your processor is. Another factor is how many cores can the CPU support. More cores equals more processing power. Similarly, different circuit boards can support more RAM than others. The more RAM, the more efficiently you can utilize that memory and execute applications.
Power Supply Unit
If the processor and memory determine your performance with your server, then the power supply it supports determines how well it works with them. As you probably guessed, the power supply unit does just that; it supplies power to your server. Without it, your server doesn’t run. How does it do that? It does this by converting alternate current (AC) to direct current (DC) and pumping it into your system. There are several different types of power supply units, some more powerful, some less powerful, some redundant, and so on. A redundant power supply means that there are two power supplies in a single unit. This is helpful if one goes out. Modern power supplies also come with several protective measures, such as protection from overloading, overheating, and so on. These are also in abundance in the refurbished world, but figuring out which one is compatible with your setup is very important.
Storage is a very important part of your system. It is how you keep all the data, files, videos, pictures, spreadsheets, and other things secure across your whole network. Depending on how much storage space you have will determine how much data can be stored and retrieved. This is done through external and internal hard drives. These are relatively inexpensive, especially when refurbished, and come in a multitude of capacities, so finding one that fits your needs won’t be a problem.
There are HDDs, or hard disk drives, and SSDs, or solid state drives. Both are quite different in both design and how they function. HDDs are your basic hard drives. They run on an internal spinning disk, which determines how efficient it is by how fast it can spin. SSDs have no moving parts, and are there for a bit more power efficient. They have less space, but are more efficient with the space they have. But they are much more expensive as well. Either way, whatever you choose, your data will have somewhere to go.
This is probably the most important part of your server. Actually, it is the most important part. If anyone has any arguments to that, then just listen to what the circuit board is. All compatibility for your other parts depends on the circuit board. That means that any other component, including processors, power supplies, and so on have to match up with the board in question. This piece of equipment holds all the previous mentioned parts, plus others, in place and makes sure they work correctly. With that in mind, finding the right circuit board is probably the most important task you will undertake when building your server.