Friday, September 23, 2011

How to Find a Good Deal on a Used Server

How to Find a Good Deal on a Used Server

Having decided that your business needs a server or you need to upgrade its server, your options are to buy new or used. While new is always nice, you can usually obtain the same features and more by purchasing a used server. Before you rush out and buy the first used server you see, there are several factors you need to consider first. Failure to do this could result in buyer’s remorse once you discover that your new (used) server is not up to the job of handling you network needs.

While you want to find the best deal possible, you need to examine your business’s current and future needs before you start shopping. The criteria you will need to know are:

Operating System – The three main operating systems for servers are Windows, Linux, and Unix. Servers are operating system specific. A Windows server will require more memory to run effectively than a Linux or Unix server. Windows servers also require more CPU power than the others do.

How to Find a Good Deal on a Used ServerStorage – This is important. The data storage capacity and hard drive access speed of your new server will determine how well it works for your business. If multiple users will be accessing data and storing it, then storage capacity and access speed will be high on your list of priorities for your server.
Speed & Performance – You want your server to have the processing speed and data capacity to keep up with the traffic to your site. This is especially important if your site is an e-commerce site. If your customers frequently get messages stating that your server is busy, they will go elsewhere for their merchandise.

Expandability – Your server needs are likely to grow in the future. Because of that, you need to be sure that your server can grow with your needs. You need to discover just how many hard drives the server can handle and how much memory you can add as well. Obtaining this information and comparing it to your current and future needs will ensure that your server will last you for several years.

Manageability – Unless you are a computer guru, you will want a server that is easy to take care of. You should be able to add or replace the hard drive or CD-ROM without having to hire outside help. The easier it is to manage, the less downtime your customers will experience, and the happier they will be.

Age – The newer the used server is, the better. A server that is only a few months old that has also received relatively light use will be the best for you and your business. This means that the equipment is not outdated and should perform well for you.

Rack or Stand-Alone – Depending on your needs, you have the choice of a single stand alone-server or a rack system. For businesses that need only one or two servers, then the desktop, stand-alone servers are your best bet. If your business needs more than two or you anticipate adding more servers in the near future, then your best option is to purchase a rack system.
Nasa Image server
Now that you have examined your business’s needs and determined exactly what you need, you need to know the best places to obtain used servers. You have several options, but when you are buying a used item, you need to keep in mind “buyer beware.” Do your research. Do not buy the first one you see that appears to fit your needs. Used servers are available at:

Public Auctions – You should be able to find public auctions for business assets for companies that have or are going out of business. You can often find good deals at these auctions. However, all sales are final.

How to Find a Good Deal on a Used ServerUsed Hardware Dealers – Many hardware dealers also buy, refurbish, test, and then re-sell used hardware. These dealers offer good bargains and with them, you know exactly what you are getting. Be sure to check out the dealer’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. You should check them out online as well. With a local dealer, you could receive a warranty as well and have someone to go to if you should experience any problems.

Ebay, Amazon, etc. – While you will find a wide selection of used servers, you will not be able to see or test the unit first. In addition, anything purchased online will not carry any guarantee or warranty.

Manufacturer – Most computer manufacturers have refurbished servers for sell. Most of these come from companies that traded them in for newer models. Many of these have received little to no use and may come with a full warranty.

Government Surplus – Often government agencies purchase more equipment than they need. Once they realize that they have a surplus, they will sell the equipment at an auction. Many times the equipment is still in the original, unopened container.

When shopping for a used server, remember that the most expensive is not always the best for you and your business nor is the least expensive. Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts. Beware of deals that appear too good to be true.

About the Author: Marcos Garza is the owner of Global 1 Resources, a retailer of name brand server racks and cabinets. Marcos has helped hundreds of companies keep their server rooms organized and their data safe and secure.

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