Drivers: Drivers are relatively easy to find if you’re using a Windows-based operating system, but they get much more difficult to track down if you plan on using Linux. Make sure you can get the drivers you need before you purchase a server with the wrong drivers.
Redundancy: Redundancy is critical for any server. It ensures that even if the server goes offline in case of power failure or other emergency, it will still have a power supply connected to it. Redundancy can be as simple as two power supplies on the server, or you can install a complete set of redundant memory or a spare memory module. You’ll need to determine which one you want to use before you buy your server.
Space: In the complex world of servers, it can be easy to forget the simple things such as determining how much space you have before you buy one. Make sure you have rack space left if you’re buying a rack mount server, and also remember that while 1U servers are relatively small, 2U and 4U servers take up much more space. If it’s a blade server you want to buy, always make sure you have room available in your blade server chassis. Also, if you’re planning to use collocation and you have a specific provider in mind, remember to ask them what type of space they use so your server can be easily integrated.
Processor support: Nothing’s more infuriating than buying a server to only later find out that it doesn’t have sockets for the CPUs you want to use. Manufacturers today have solved this problem by incorporating different sockets for a number of different processors, but not all of them do. For this reason, you need to make sure that your server will be able to work with any processor that you want to use and that you can upgrade the CPU support farther down the line.
Memory: Anytime you buy a piece of computing equipment, memory is going to be one of the biggest factors you take into consideration. However, you have to give it special consideration when buying a server, especially if you’re going to be partitioning it into a virtual server environment. This is because each of those virtual servers will have their own operating system, and you need to make sure the server can handle it.
There’s a lot to take into consideration when you’re buying a server, especially if this is your first one. But while there’s a lot to think about and a lot of research to do, having your own server is definitely worth it and will give you back the control you’ve been searching for!