Investing in a server-based network can offer numerous advantages, better data protection, enhanced productivity, and money saved through efficient resource sharing, but purchasing a first server can be a headache. To help make the process easier, here some tips that will help you select and configure your server for optimal performance, security and efficiency.
Choosing a server
Two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a server are reliability and security. Because servers are often left on 24×7, they are more vulnerable to attacks; many people are dependent on them, so you can’t risk downtime.
Another major consideration is the amount of power and capacity you need. Start by evaluating your expected business growth on the basis that a server has an active lifespan of five years. So if you anticipate an increase in the number of employees who will be using your business applications simultaneously, you should purchase a more powerful server. If you have a web-based business, you need to plan in extra capacity about double what is required for normal traffic– in case of sudden spikes in activity. Ensure your infrastructure can smoothly scale to accommodate additional servers, so you can add on as needed.
Keeping your server secure
Server security is something you can help ensure through proper configuration and ongoing awareness. Begin by only entrusting administrator rights to a few reliable persons. When you configure your server, do it off-line. This reduces the risk of attacks infiltrating your system before security software and patches are in place. Rename the default accounts and use passwords at least 12 characters long, a mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and characters to protect them. Your administrator should continually monitor server logs for suspicious patterns, behavior or potential intruders, and always install updates to the security software and patches to the operating system.
Cutting server power consumption
Servers are power-hungry creatures that overheat easily, to keep your power and cooling bills in check, purchase an energy efficient server. ENERGY STAR is finalizing server compliance specifications that will be used to acknowledge servers that are compliant with specifications including power supply efficiency and idle mode maximum wattage’s. There are a number of other organizations that rate how energy efficient a server is, and these can be good references for you when choosing your server.
Regardless of which server you choose, don’t forget to use the power saving software options, which put your server into low energy mode when it’s not in use. And keep the server well ventilated and at room temperature between 20 and 23 degrees.