Focus on… Servers

With so many choices and, potentially, so little budget, what do IT decision makers need to think about when it comes to servers?

Don't just plan for today. You also need to look to the future of your infrastructure and how it can adapt to support your business as it evolves.

"If your business is likely to expand and need more computing resource you should be thinking about getting an infrastructure that can support that expansion now rather than adding it on later, usually at higher cost," added Ingle.

7) Weighing up the costs

Spread out the costs where possible by investigating the merits of payment schemes. During an economic downturn upfront costs can be hard to justify, but there are alternative financing options to decrease the initial pressure and help prove the business case.

8) The green agenda

Power efficiency is a key topic at the moment. Many of the major companies are producing energy saving schemes, such as power capping or fan reduction. While these provide eco-friendly benefits, they can also help shave costs too. With utility prices rising, this could become an increasingly important area to try and save on.

9) Where do you want it?

Consider where you server is going to be placed within your work space. In addition to often being noisy and space consuming (although some companies are starting to address this) it needs to be employee-friendly and, above all, secure. And remain so.

Most companies have got on the virtualisation train, making sure they are fully utilising their servers. However, the next step from virtualising is to fully embrace cloud computing.

There is the discussion of whether to go out into the public cloud, but the majority of businesses want to keep at least some, if not all, of their operations in-house and move towards a private or hybrid cloud model.

You might not be there yet but you should ask yourself if cloud will become part of your future in this refresh cycle. If the answer is yes, look for a server optimised for cloud computing.

Don't just accept vendors saying it is many are looking to attach the buzz word to all of their products but check out its capabilities for creating a private cloud in your own datacentre so you don't have to rip and replace a perfectly good server when/if you decide to move to this model of computing.

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