Over the next couple of weeks, Dedicated Server School will post several articles in a series called “Back to the Basics”. Much of this will be a rehash of content we have already published, but it will be provided in a more uniform set of informative posts for those new to dedicated servers.
Part 1: Server Hardware
A server is only as good as its hardware. When shopping around for a server, it is easy to get drawn in by the software, especially if you are looking to lease a remote server. You may never see the hardware in person, but that does not mean you should neglect it or be ignorant of its technical details.
When you shop for hardware, you will want to consider factors like processing power, memory, storage capacity, and backup storage, but that is not the end of it. You should also consider data center security features, cooling technology, environmental responsibility, and network infrastructure.
As we have mentioned before, some hardware can have misleading naming systems. You cannot tell exactly how powerful an Intel processor is just by looking at the name or number of gigahertz. Clock speed is only part of the equation, and it would behoove you to research the benchmark comparisons of each processor you consider. The same is true of storage hardware and RAM.
Does the data center provide backup power? Is the cooling energy efficient? Is the hardware easily swappable in case of failure? Is there any redundancy in place for unforeseen disasters? These are all questions you should ask about your server and its hardware.