When you plan to grow your company, a small business tower server can be a necessary addition to your technology setup. Whether you’re onboarding new employees or handling new clients, you may need a small business tower server in order to handle your company’s most frequently used software and applications.
However, it can be difficult to determine if you should build a server or simply purchase one
. Your decision can depend on how you see your business growing in the future, what kind of data you use, and how much you want to spend.
What is a small business tower server?
The term “server” can mean a number of things, including the hardware, software, or the function of communicating internally through file sharing or email. Before you decide whether or not you might need a tower server for your business, it can be helpful to know what it is and what types are available.
Growth expectations and industry are key considerations
The answer to whether you need one will depend on the kind of company you have, your expectations for growth, and the software you typically use. The industry you work in can also affect your choice. For businesses with more than two or three people, a small business tower server offers equipment to help your business run more efficiently.
Build or buy assembled
A tower consists of the physical components that you will need to either build or buy already assembled. It’s also where you will store this hardware, so you’ll need to also consider size, especially in a cramped space.
What kind of businesses need their own server?
Some industries require an individual server more than others. Some companies within specific industries may need a server as well, depending on their size or diversity of services. There are varying reasons why a company would want their own server instead of sharing or renting one. Those reasons include:
- Providing their own email services and having a mail server
- Sharing access to hardware internally, such as printers or external files
- Running specialized software, such as inventory management or high volume data storage on an application server
- Providing domain authentication which allows a website domain to be hosted on a private server
If your business also relies on enhanced security for your clients, you may want to consider a separate server. This allows you to incorporate additional security measures, including more advanced encryption methods and better malware detection software.
A very small business probably doesn’t need to invest in its own server. On the other hand, if you are expecting to have three or more employees located in one office, you may want to consider it. Your own server provides you with more control over which software is installed and the type of security methods you use. Plus, it provides faster load times for software and makes it easier for your staff to share files.
A big factor in choosing the right server is how many storage bays you’ll need. It’s likely that you will store a lot of information on your server, and you want to make sure you don’t fill up the space on your drivers within a year or two. It’s important to plan ahead and to be realistic about how many files you’ll need to store. Investing in an entirely new server can be expensive, which means you can save time and money knowing how much storage you’ll need in advance.
What are the different types of servers?
You can choose between three main types of servers: rackmount servers, tower servers, and blade servers, depending on how much space your office has.
A rackmount allows you to hold a number of larger servers in one location which can be useful if you need to store a lot of data. This is the most efficient choice for many larger businesses because it allows you to store your information locally.
You can also find them for reasonable prices. And you can customize your server options in different ways, too, so they can hold more data, fit within a certain area of your building, or meet your budget.
For small businesses, tower servers can be ideal. They resemble desktop towers and are perfect for general use, such as running basic office software and communications. They can be customized in order to fit certain specifications, and most businesses will have to choose which components work best for their needs if they plan to order a tower server.
Blade tower server
Blade towers are the newest form of server tower models. They can be great for businesses who expect rapid growth, plus they only take up a small amount of physical space. However, they are more expensive than the two other options.
Should I build or buy my server?
Once you decide that you need the additional power that a small business server provides, it’s time to consider whether you will build or buy your server. There are benefits to both and what you choose can affect how your software runs and how much physical space your tower server rack will take up.
If you choose a rackmount tower, you will have to decide to purchase a pre-built server or choose the components yourself. There are pros and cons to both options, and it’s important to know that even pre-built servers may require some assembly and configuration.
Pre-built server advantages
There are a number of reasons to choose a pre-built server. Even if you have a few employees who are technologically savvy, you may need an entire IT department to build and operate a server.
All the system configurations are already tested when you purchase a pre-built server, and a warranty is usually included for parts and support. It can also be easier to find drivers and firmware updates online because you are working with a known system.
Advantages to building your own server
Depending on the parts you choose, building a server can cost less than purchasing one, but you don’t have the same amount of support that you do when you’ve invested in a pre-built server.
Keep in mind, though, that you do have more configuration options, which helps if you work with software created specifically for your business.
Building a server can be a bit complex, and it can help to have a team with IT experience in case you run into any issues with software compatibility or problems with malware.
Tips for choosing the right computer for your server
Once you have determined the best server for your small business, it’s time to consider which computer is best for your setup. This can be a big factor in making sure you don’t run out of space in your storage bays or you run into any problems with software compatibility.
- You’ll need a computer that performs well without paying more than you should, like the HPE ProLiant ML30 Gen 10
- You should also consider the physical size of the tower server. For a small business, you may need one that’s compact and can easily fit in your current space
- Also keep in mind how many employees will use it simultaneously, which will guide how much power you need
Best HP small business tower servers
1. HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10
Small offices don’t have to compromise on computing power. The HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10
is designed specifically for small businesses that don’t want a server to take up too much space. It’s also extremely affordable for an entry-level server and is easy to use, making it ideal for smaller offices.
The design makes it easy to access hard drives in case you need to upgrade down the line. It comes with ClearOS software with a built-in application marketplace so you can find the right software for your server without worrying about compatibility. With your operating system already loaded, you can simply plug it in and get your small business connected.
- AMD® accelerated processing unit
- 8GB of RAM
- 1TB HDD
2. HPE ProLiant ML30 Gen10
For small businesses with or without an IT expert, the HPE ProLiant ML30 Gen10
is a great choice. It’s known for its stability, which means you and your team don’t have to worry about if it’s running correctly.
This can save you valuable time and money by knowing that you have HPE Account Support on call to help you with any difficulties you may encounter. It never hurts to have additional support when you are dealing with important data, and the included HPE Proactive Care Advanced keeps you posted on your connected devices and any irregularity in performance.
Your level of support goes deeper than that, too. You can get additional help for specific projects or customized software that you may need for your business. While closely monitoring your server, HP® provides a Critical Event Manager to prevent your device from potentially harmful crashes or hacks.
- Remote technical support
- Intel® Xeon® E-2124 processor
- Recommendations for firmware for your specific server
3. HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10
For businesses expecting rapid growth but still want a reasonable price, the HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10
is a solid choice. This tower operates on a single processor but it’s also designed for customization. With a built-in six DDR4 DIMM slots, you’ll have plenty of memory and storage for software and data.
You also don’t need to worry about crashes with this design because it includes a redundant fan in case your device overheats. This can help you to avoid the loss of essential data and information that you can’t afford to miss. You also have room to grow thanks to the additional five PCIe slots and 16 small factor disk drives that can expand alongside your business.
- 1TB HDD
- HPE InfoSight for cloud-based analytics
- Optional room for more fans and two additional GPUs
4. HPE ProLiant ML350 Gen10
As businesses become more global, it’s important to have a server that can connect with employees from every corner of the world. The dual-socket HPE ProLiant ML350 Gen10
offers support for a variety of small businesses, including those with remote workers. With Intel Xeon Scalable processors and HPE DDR4 SmartMemory, you’ll experience fast processing speeds and can say goodbye to lag.
It’s also designed to be upgraded for your needs as a company. With a range of graphics cards and plenty of slots for upgrades, this server can take on more as your business does. This server is perfect for businesses handling massive amounts of data, and it comes with IT support from HP’s dedicated staff. Plus, with 16GB of memory and the potential to add more, you’ll have enough power to take on your next big idea.
- Intel Xeon Scalable 3204 processor
- LFF and SFF drive cages for tiered storage
- Advanced security features such as Server Configuration Lock
Not all small businesses require the same type of server, but many of them can thrive with options from HP®. With a line of HP tower server models that covers everything from brand-new companies to those looking to expand, you can find something that aligns perfectly with the needs of your team and your budget.
About the Author: Daniel Horowitz is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Daniel is a New York-based author and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine, and many other media outlets.