Note: Running Fridays in FromGregsHead.com, is a continuing series of tips brought to you by Greg Price. These run Sunday evenings during the BusinessMaker’s Radio Show on KPRC 950AM. Audio files can be found on the PKF Texas – Entrepreneur’s Playbook® page of the PKF Texas website.
Is your best option to own servers? After you look at the functionality you require, be sure to take into consideration these hidden expenses of owning servers in-house so that you can create an apples-to-apples comparison with your technology decisions.
Server maintenance. No one has yet invented a "set it and forget it" server. Servers require regular updates and maintenance to keep up with changes in technology and to respond to malware threats. The operating system and software applications running on the server also require updates.
Server administration. Who is going to run your updates and regularly perform maintenance on your servers? Here you have several options. You can hire an in-house IT administrator. You can hire an IT consultant. Or you can hire a managed service provider who will take care of the routine work for a set monthly price. The option you choose should be based on your IT workload.
Server rent. Part of your office rent goes toward providing a secure location for your server. Because servers consume increased energy, sometimes they require a dedicated room with temperature control. You don’t want your employees to freeze just to keep your servers cool. Contact your hardware provider about estimated energy consumption costs.
Server backups and redundancy. A server contains your company’s most valuable information. When your server is located in your office, you have to take extra steps to protect your data from being damaged or destroyed. This commonly means creating off-site backups and testing to make sure that the recovery process works. Some companies also invest in server redundancy, so that if one server crashes, the other one immediately takes over.
Server utilization. Companies typically buy more server than they currently need so they have room for growth. A little extra capacity is necessary, but too much will cost you. Develop a hardware plan so that you don’t overbuy up front. Instead, scale up as needed. If your servers don’t have enough to do, you’re wasting capacity and paying for something that you don’t use or need.