A server can assume the functions of some devices, such as the router, the NAS device, backup storage drive, and firewall. With a server, you can virtualize the functions of multiple devices to run simultaneously on the same machine.
Why should I buy a server?
So I have been interested in servers lately and I am doing research on them. I am deciding whether I am going to buy one or not, and the simple question of "why should I buy a server" pops up into my head. Why should I buy a server? I mean, Digital Ocean droplets and AWS hosting is much cheaper and can do just as much if not more computing power (depending on what I pay for) and I don't need to worry about making sure that my server is secure: they handle all of the security for me. Also, my electricity bill will go up, I will need to make this large up-front investment, and servers get old. I am sure that if I buy a server today, it will not be good enough in 2030. If I rent a Digital Ocean droplet, they will always keep updating their servers (as long as they stay in business). So, r/homelab, why should I buy a server? What are the advantages of in-home hosting?

24 CommentsHave you ever wondered what we mean when we talk about dedicated hosting servers, and what the impact is for your organisation? Out resident server support, Steve Tozer, shares the benefits of dedicated server hosting and the reasons why you should consider a dedicated server for your website.

How does a dedicated server work?
A dedicated server is a physical server, usually rented from a dedicated server provider, that a person or company use exclusively for their web hosting needs. Choosing this type of infrastructure means you have your ‘own’ physical server instead of a virtual server that is shared with potentially hundreds of other users on the same physical server.

Is a dedicated server better?
Choosing a dedicated hosting platform for your business means that your website has more stability and reliability than shared hosting. Here are 5 of the primary reasons why you should consider choosing a dedicated server for your web hosting.

1. Dedicated servers provide a better performance
Dedicated servers provide an exclusive, dedicated operating system with no contention of resources. The server is dedicated to you and you alone. This means your dedicated server will give better performance and faster applications than a cloud server.

A cloud or shared server’s resources are shared between all the users on that particular server. Cloud servers are designed to offer you more storage and virtual resources, instead of providing efficient resources. If it’s a high performing hosting solution you’re looking to set up, a dedicated server to host your website is a better choice.

2. Dedicated servers are cost-effective
A dedicated server is the most cost-effective option and the best value for money in the long term. Cloud servers appear cheaper than a dedicated server, but a dedicated server will offer much more in the way of resources and the number of clients that you can serve at any one time.

Your dedicated server provider will handle everything from maintaining the network to supplying and maintaining the server hardware. As you are renting the server from the provider, they are also responsible for resolving any issues if something goes wrong.

3. Dedicated servers allow you to customise hardware for business requirements
When choosing a dedicated server, you can customise the hardware to your specification. Whether it’s more RAM, extra hard disk space or even faster CPU, all hardware is customisable. Moreover, if you need more resources in the future, you can contact your server provider and request an upgrade to suit growing business needs.

4. Dedicated servers offer flexible usage
Dedicated servers can be used for a number of different applications, as they are very flexible. The most common use for a dedicated server is to run a web hosting environment, while other applications include database storage and access, custom virtualisation setups, VPNs, email servers and more.

5. Dedicated servers provide better security
Your dedicated server is for your use only as the name aptly suggests. With a cloud server, the server is shared between all the clients that reside on that particular physical server, and consequently, you are not the only user who is able to log into the server, this increases the risk of data loss, infiltration and interception. In other words, your data is much safer on a dedicated server than it is on a cloud server.

Choosing the best dedicated server for your business
At Spindogs, we can support you with choosing the best-dedicated server for your business applications. Our IT and web development teams have a wealth of knowledge in dedicated servers and can advise on the best solution to host your website and help you get the results you need.

If you want to find out how to get your own dedicated server or find out more about the other web services and technical support we provide, get in touch with our support team today for more information and solutions.




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4 yr. ago
There's a few advantages.

Cloud providers get expensive quickly. If you are looking at storing large amounts of data. Sure cloud data storage also exists, but again, expensive if you start looking at multi terabyte.

There are some services that don't move as easily to the cloud. My lab is a VMware learningenvironment, as well as self teaching some networking and firewall concepts.

For some. There is also a draw to migrate away from big companies owning all our data/services. Sure, this is not exactly labbing, but if I have servers to mess with networks and dockers, it's just a bonus if they can also act as a NAS, provide VPN, wiki, media server etc.

And lastly, I just hate 'the cloud'. I like to own things. I like to pay once, and not subscribe. My data and internal services are functional even if I drop internet connectivity.

5 Reasons to Make Your Own Personal Home Server
UPDATED JUL 26, 2021
Cloud computing is all the rage, but there are some practical reasons to host your own server in this day and age.

Readers like you help support MUO. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.
Have you ever thought about setting up a home server?

Sure, it's not necessarily the most straightforward process in the world (depending on the type of equipment you're using), but it's a fun way to put your old hardware to use or to further develop your computing skills.

And besides, if you create your own server, there are some cool things you can do with it. If you're thinking about building a personal server of any kind, keep reading to learn more about the benefits.

1. Make a Server, Control Your Data
We know what you're thinking—why have a home server if you can just use a service like Google Drive or Dropbox?

The most critical difference between home servers and third-party cloud services is the control of data.

Contrary to some beliefs, Google Drive et al. do not own the data which you upload to the cloud. The companies do, however, retain a license to reproduce, modify, and create derivative works from your files.

Here's the relevant snippet from Google Drive's Terms of Service:

Your content remains yours. We do not claim ownership in any of your content, including any text, data, information, and files that you upload, share, or store in your Drive account. The Google Terms of Service give Google a limited purpose license to operate and improve the Google Drive services—so if you decide to share a document with someone, or want to open it on a different device, we can provide that functionality.5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Server
Growing companies will find that an on-premises server boosts productivity and data security.
Your business is growing and so is your staff – great work! You're evolving beyond two or three devices. Now comes the time to purchase equipment and software, and then to figure out how to manage it all.

Many small businesses will boost their productivity and become more efficient by using a server.

Servers store, manage, and deliver data to the workstations on a network. Typically, they are more powerful than an average workstation, providing enhanced security and easy integration with backup/recovery tools. Several Dell PowerEdge servers, starting with the T140, are suited for companies migrating from peer-to-peer networks.

Here are five reasons why a small business should consider investing in a server.

1. Defense against viruses and other threats. When computers are networked together, there's a considerable risk that the entire network could become infected by a corrupt file that originates from just one machine. In a "client/server" setup, a central server provides data to several clients, which are the computers on the network. Security is controlled centrally from the server, so not only does every user have the latest updates and patches, but software and virus scans may be deployed and initiated on every computer on the network. In addition, as your company grows, you'll want to have rules outlining who has permissions to view and edit certain data. Having a server enables access control.

2. Protection against losing data during a disaster. Servers are an integral part of a disaster recovery plan, because they use redundant disk drives and power supplies. They are designed to run during hardware or power failures, featuring "hot-swappable" components that can be replaced while the server is running. Because the system doesn't need to be shut down to make the replacement or repair—as would be required in a peer-to-peer network--no time is lost.

There are also redundant server setups available that can fail the entire server over in case it goes offline or is otherwise corrupted.

3. Compliance with industry requirements such as PCI-DSS and HIPAA. Compliance requires the ability to deploy and enforce policies across a network of computers. If you want to process, store, or transmit credit card data, you'll need to be PCI compliant. The ability to update and patch systems regularly is sixth of the 12 PCI DSS requirements; requirement 6.2 requires merchants to "install critical patches within a month of release" to maintain compliance. Having a server will help your business stay updated in a timely manner.

If you have healthcare clients, you'll need a HIPAA server, which follows specific compliance guidelines that are designed to prevent protected health information (PHI) data breaches. HIPAA server requirements include: complete data encryption, encryption key management, unique user IDs, dedicated infrastructure, server backups, secure data disposal, and audit logs.

4. Key business software requires processing power and storage space. Heavy-duty software, including accounting programs, customer relationship management tools, and human resources systems, shouldn't be stored on individual PCs. Using the cloud for software deployment isn't always an ideal solution, either. For instance, Dropbox and Google Drive can store files, but you can't host applications on them for multi-user access.

To select the best server to suit your purpose, make a list of the applications/software you plan to run on the server. Think about how many users need concurrent access to each application, now and in the near future. Build in a buffer (industry experts recommend 20%) to account for upswings in usage.

For a helpful tool that suggests 'right-sized' server equipment, look no further than Dell Technologies' Live Optics. The application monitors your environment and delivers insights for optimal usage and growth.

5. Secure remote access is critical to continued growth. During the pandemic, flexibility was key to the survival of many small organizations. Productive work-from-home strategies require more than employees with computers. You need to offer remote access to the company's network, such as via a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN routes all your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, hiding not only your data but also your IP address, so your identity and location are kept secret. They protect all traffic, some of which may contain proprietary data. When employees work remotely without a VPN, they are connecting to the company's internal network using the public internet, which exposes the employees' traffic to potential security breaches.
Which Mac Makes the Best Server?
Thinking about using a Mac for your server? Find out which Mac model makes the best server based on several important categories.

Readers like you help support MUO. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.
The Mac server has taken many forms. From the days of the first aqua green G4 tower, it has appeared in such shapes as the HAL-like Xserve array, the silver G5, and the expensive trash can aesthetic of the Mac Pro.

These days, there are multiple Macs that can wear the server mantle, each with their own pros and cons. Let's take a look at what Macs make good servers, and which one might be right for you.

One of the most important features to consider when choosing a Mac server is how much you can upgrade it.

This is the device on which your entire environment will depend. You'll use it for backups, file shares, hosting websites, and more. Ideally, you'll want to replace that hardware as infrequently as possible. Therefore, you want to future-proof your Mac server as much as you can.

Older servers like the original Mac Pro tower could be opened up easily, and had extra PCI slots for additional hard drives. This PCI connection was vital if you wanted to boot from it, as any other connection like FireWire or USB would be too slow. You could also expand the memory if you wanted.

These days, any Mac with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 can get PCI-level speeds with an external connection. Internal upgrading isn't necessary anymore.

The Best Mac Server for Upgrading
The Mac Pro has a whopping six Thunderbolt 2 ports. Each one of these ports allows you to connect a drive or display. Additionally, the memory is user-expandable.

Mac Pro ports
The Mac Mini, on the other hand, only has four ports. However, they're Thunderbolt 3, which is faster. Its memory is not user-upgradable.

Mac Mini ports
Constant Uptime
Your server needs to be available at all times. Depending on what you use it for, it may even need to work hard all the time. You need a machine that's prepared for a near-constant uptime, and some Macs are better than others for this.

The Best Mac Server for Uptime
The Mac Pro's trash can design is optimal for dissipating heat. The fan running through the center of the computer cools all the components efficiently and quietly.

Overheating is one of the main concerns with a machine that's constantly on, so the Mac Pro wins this category.

The Mac Pro's fan runs through the middle of the machine
CPU Speed
The speed of your server matters. It's the first bottleneck to consider when you experience a slowdown, and it's an issue you can't fix without buying a new device.

The Best Mac Server for CPU Speed
The iMac Pro offers an astonishing 18-core Intel Xeon processor. Meanwhile, the Mac Pro maxes out at an 8-core Intel Xeon.

Xeon processors are ideal for servers, as they're made for handling powerful CPU loads and long uptimes.

When it comes to storage, you can go one of two ways: more or faster. Your instinct might lead you towards more, but when it comes to your server, you want your disk as fast and reliable as possible.

The most likely and dangerous issue you can have with your server is a drive failure. Nip that problem in the bud with the kind of storage device you choose.

SSDs are ideal for servers due to their speed and low failure rate. If your budget allows you to get either a larger hard disk drive or a smaller SSD, the solid state drive is the way to go.

The Best Mac Server for Storage
The Mac Pro offers a baseline 256GB SSD, upgradable to 1TB. The Mac Mini has a wider range of an 128GB SSD to 2TB.

The only other difference is that the Mac Pro's storage is upgradable after purchase, while the Mac Mini's is not. Both can still connect to external drives via Thunderbolt and achieve PCI-level speeds, but the internal drive should still always be the drive you boot from.

If you're using a server to host a website, or if you'll need to work from it while you're on the go, bandwidth is key. The more speed you can get, the better.

The Best Mac Server for Connectivity
The Mac Pro comes standard with two separate Gigabit Ethernet connections, which you can bridge to create one 2Gb connection.

Meanwhile, the Mac Mini comes with one Gigabit Ethernet, which can instead be upgraded to a 10Gb connection.

In addition, the iMac Pro can have its Ethernet connection upgraded to a 10Gb port.

Physical Space
Whether it's on a desk, in a rack, or in a closet, the amount of space your server takes up is an important factor. Obviously, less is better, but the shape matters as well.

The Best Mac Server for Physical Space
The Mac Mini was made to fit on a server rack. Small, compact and quiet, you can hide it somewhere and forget it's even there.

Mac Mini physical size dimensions
The Mac Pro is small, but its unique shape makes it hard to fit in with other technology. Also, because of its central fan, it can only be oriented one way, and it needs enough space to breathe so it won't overheat.

That being said, even the Mac Pro takes up far less space than previous generation. Because it doesn't have a display, it takes up much less space than, say, an iMac.

Winners of the Best Mac Server Title
So now that we've looked at the options, which Mac models make the best server?

For power and versatility:The Mac Pro's power, cooling abilities, and upgradability make it the ideal server---if you can afford it. Not to mention, it looks great. Though the price tag is a bit steep, it should last for seven years or more with its easily replaceable parts.

But the Mac Pro is really only for power users. Find out if you would really use a Mac Pro before you spend the cash.

For cost-effectiveness: For less than half the price of the Mac Pro, you can get a powerful server in the Mac Mini. Just make sure you know exactly configuration you want going into your purchase, since you won't be able to upgrade anything later (except via Thunderbolt 3 ports).

Get Use Out of Your Server
Now that you have your new Mac server, what are you going to do with it? We've looked at reasons to build a server, which will give you some ideas.
As your business grows, it needs a centralized data storage location. Where you may have depended on cloud email or storage to start, it can become unwieldy and costly. A server helps organize the IT management of your company by managing user permissions, software, and security. If you have more than a handful of computers, a server can help you save time, maximize productivity, prevent security breaches, and recover if disaster strikes. It's a solid investment offering much to gain and little to lose.

When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through Google Drive, you give Google a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display, and distribute such content.

The cloud providers can also share your data with domain administrators, legal entities, and affiliates. Once again, you'll find a disclaimer to that effect in the companies' privacy policies.

If you create your own server, you will still be able to enjoy the benefits of on-the-go file storage, without needing to worry about your privacy and security.

2. Setting Up a Home Server Is Inexpensive
This is slightly subjective.

If you were so inclined, you could go and spend several thousand dollars on market-leading equipment to make your own server. And after the upfront costs, خرید سرور hp the ongoing electricity costs for all the units and cooling equipment would be significant.

In reality, anyone can make a home server using nothing more than an old laptop or a cheap piece of kit like a Raspberry Pi.

Great Projects For A Raspberry Pi Server

Of course, the trade-off when using old or cheap equipment is performance. Companies like Google and Microsoft host their cloud services on servers that can handle billions of queries every day.

Your 10-year-old laptop can't come close to that level of performance. If you only want to be able to access a few files remotely, it might suffice. But if you want your personal web server to act as a central hub for your whole family or small business, you might find that you still need to invest in dedicated hardware.

If you're wondering which Mac makes the best server, take a look at our helpful guide.

3. Create a Dedicated Gaming Server
Did you know that many of the most popular games on Steam let you run the game on your own dedicated server? In truth, gaming is probably one of the best things you can do with a server at home.

Using a dedicated gaming server has a few benefits over rented servers or playing on other users' servers:

You can control and customize all aspects of gameplay.
You are in control of game updates rather than waiting for another person/business to install the latest version.
Increased stability and reduced risk to other players in the event that your gaming machine needs to reboot in the middle of playing.
Some popular games that you can run on your own server include Minecraft, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress, and Call of Duty.

4. Keep Data Backups on a Home Server
It's impossible to overstate the importance of making backups of your data. If your computer's hardware were to die or be involved in an accident, you don't want to lose access to many years' worth of data.

In an ideal world, you should have one offsite and one onsite backup. Your offsite backup will typically either be a cloud storage provider or a specialist third-party online backup provider. For an onsite backup, many people use external hard drives, USB drives, or NAS drives.

It's possible to argue, however, that running a personal server is better than all those options. Compared to the most similar alternative—NAS drives—home servers are more customizable and (if you already have old hardware you can use) cheaper.

On the downside, it is more complicated to make a server than it is to set up a NAS drive. Depending on the size of your server, it could also use more electricity.

5. Make a Home Media Server
Another reason to create a home server is to act as a central hub for all your media.

We live in the streaming age—most people consume media through services like Spotify and Netflix—but many people still have extensive collections of locally-saved music and videos.

If you want to be able to access all your local media on any device in your house, a server is one of the best solutions. To make the process even easier, you can use a service like Plex, Kodi, or Emby to manage your media and control playback.

Plex and Emby will even let you access your content on your server when you're away from home with just a few simple clicks. Setting up Kodi for the same purpose is possible, but significantly more complicated to achieve.

Make Your Own Server
Setting up a home server is fun, cheap, and offers a host of benefits.

Of course, there are many more advantages than the 0nes we have discussed in this article, but many of them will be unique to your situation and might not become apparent until you're up and running. You'll never know unless you try it!

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Dan Price
(1579 Articles Published)
Dan joined MakeUseOf in 2014 and has been Partnerships Director since July 2020. Reach out to him for inquires about sponsored content, affiliate agreements, promotions, and any other forms of partnership. You can also find him roaming the show floor at CES in Las Vegas every year; say hi if you're going. Prior to his writing career, he was a Financial Consultant.



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