How Much Does A Server Cost To Run A Small Business Website In 2021?

You may be interested in creating your own server for your small business. It does make some sense. You will require considering it for the following reasons:

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  • Want to operate several different types of business applications.
  • An increasing number of visitors checking out your eCommerce site.
  • Need greater reliability and uptime.
  • For various other reasons.

Hence, several reasons exist as to why you will require installing a server for your small business. Once determined, you will be faced with the next question, which is ‘how much does a server cost.’ The selected server is likely to become the main center of control for your entire business. Hence, you need to ensure selecting the best and most appropriate equipment for supporting your business needs. It is crucial for the success of your business.

The truth is setting up your own server and operating it will provide you with lots of benefits. It will also be viable and affordable than imagined. First, however, you need to make some cost considerations, enabling you to make the correct and wise decision to install one. 

How much does a server cost – Owning vs. Renting a Server

While setting up a server for your small business, you are provided with three viable options. 

  • Purchase the server. Choose a reputed web host and their data center to host your website. It is referred to as collocation. 
  • Invest in a server from reputed brands. Set it up in your own office. 
  • Obtain a server for rent from a reputed service provider for a fixed monthly price. 

Each approach is known to come with its set of pros & cons, something that you need to research upon. Then, compare them and find out which option will suit your business and budget better. The right choice made only can help you save precious money and enjoy the benefits that come with it. 

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How much does a server cost – Pros & Cons of investing in a Server


  • You can obtain easy physical access to your hard drives for storing online information. 
  • You just need to pay an upfront payment to become the owner of the server and use this hardware until it gets obsolete. 


  • Redundancy is not available for networking and power.
  • Additional expenses to be borne for networking, cooling and power.
  • Server hardware.
  • Face hardware replacement and repair costs.
  • Fire suppression or security not in a proper place for safeguarding server data.

How much does a server cost – Pros & Cons of Renting a Server


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  • Easy access to state-of-the-art hardware along with the migration option to another new server with improvement in hardware. 
  • Fixed monthly price. It includes 24/7 support, power security, cooling and hardware. 
  • Hardware replacement costs not involved. The provider will replace quickly all failed hardware components without any additional charges. 
  • 24/7 prompt onsite support to tackle all server-related issues. 
  • Reduced hardware expenditure.
  • Redundant power, security and networking which otherwise might not be found feasible within the office environment. 


  • Businesses eager to use the same hardware for several years will find purchasing hardware to be much more affordable. 
  • Physical access is not required to stored data. In case, your business winds up, then data can be simply copied to local storage from the rented server. 

How much does a server cost – Collocating a Server


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  • Redundant network, cooling and power.
  • The server is monitored and stored securely 24/7.
  • 24/7 remote hands.
  • Fire suppression and precise climate control features


  • In case of hardware failure, responsible to replace the damaged or worn-out hardware parts.
  • Upfront hardware costs.

How much does a server cost – Form Factors / Server Types

Servers are available in three major types:

  • Rack Server: They are considered to be flat servers that are installed within the cabinet or a server rack. They can be commonly noticed in datacenters. 
  • Tower Server: They appear somewhat like that of a traditional PC with a vertical standing box. They are also referred to as pedestal servers and are free-standing. They can be either installed on the floor or in a cabinet. 
  • Blade server: They appear like a Rack or a large Tower Server. They tend to feature numerous servers but within the same chassis. They offer significantly higher performance and storage volumes. This type of server comes with an initial upfront cost. Again, each additional node is likely to add up to the expenses. 

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How much does a server cost – Server Specifications & Models

When trying to determine the best server type to suit your small business needs, you must consider several factors. 

Server Capacity & Size:

Q. How much RAM or CPU is necessary to set up a server for your small business?

A. Check out if your small business requires to operate various server applications or a database. Then, contact the software vendor to understand specific requirements for RAM and CPU.

Q. What number of staff members should the server support?

A. Identify the number of people who are likely to log onto your server network. Server size will be determined mainly by user count. However, it also includes the quantity and type of software licenses required.

Q. What amount of RAM / Memory is required? 

A. For common uses in any small business, the normal recommendation is:

  • 1 to 25  users – 16 GB
  • 25+ users – 32 GB

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More RAM will be required if your server runs VMWare (Virtualization software), Exchange (email servers), or SQL (database applications).

Q.  Is there any important application requirement by your business?

A. Specific systems requirements are to be adhered to as per the regulations put up by some software vendors. It is mainly for business apps, accounting, etc. 

Q. Is Virtualization required? 

A. Adopting Virtualization technology enables carving up your server into multiple virtual-based servers. Server backups and management can be further eased by using software like Hyper-V and VMWare for virtualization. However, it comes with additional expenses.

Virtualization can prove to be useful if multiple virtual servers are desired in software. This means you do not have to invest in several different types of physical servers. Virtualization is strongly recommended even for small deployments as it helps simplify smooth management operations and backups. 

Q. What model and number of CPU / Processors to choose?

A. Single processor is sufficient for small businesses having installed just a single server. A mid-level CPU is sufficient unless the software to be installed comes with certain specific requirements. 

How much does a server cost – Environment & Location

Q. Do you have in place a functional air conditioning system and a server room?

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A. As servers operate, their fans rotate to cool the components present. The servers are always recommended to be kept at an optimum temperature below 257 to 30 degrees Celsius. Only then will the server will function efficiently. Check out manufacturer recommendations since each server is said to come with different operating ranges. It also comes with specified acceptable humidity and dust levels. 

Q. Which is the best place to install the server? 

A. Do you own a rack or a server cabinet? Investing in a rack server will make sense if you own a server cabinet. Otherwise, the best choice will be to invest in a Tower Server. But this is not a feasible option if you have plans to install multiple servers since you require a server cabinet. 

Q. Are the servers secure?

A. The server is likely to contain vital application and business data. Remember your server will require a safe location for installation purposes. For this, you can consider a secure server cabinet or a lockable room. Do take into account the needs for cooling, airflow, and temperature. 

Q. Do you own multiple servers?

A. A server cabinet will be the right choice if you own multiple servers. If the server is installed in a small or an enclosed room, it will require air-conditioning. This is to prevent overheating. Open offices and large rooms experiencing consistent ambient temperature and significant airflow will not require the installation of an air-conditioning system.

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How much does a server cost – Operating System

Windows Server 2019 Essentials and Windows Server 2019 are the popularly used server operating systems across the globe. 

  • Windows Server 2019: It is considered to be Microsoft’s latest version and a fully-featured server OS. For servers, the expert-recommended OS is always Windows Server. You can invest in a Windows Server along with numerous optional Client Access License Packs (CALs) while installing a new server. CALs are considered to be the software license using which the server can be accessed by the devices and your users. 
  • Windows Server 2019 Essentials: It is considered to be Windows Server’s reduced version designed exclusively to cater to the needs of small businesses. However, it also comes with several limitations. You may have plans to run server applications like CRM or accounting. If so, then check out if your software vendor provides Windows Server Essentials Support.

How much does a server cost – RAM & CPU Specifications

There are several variables to be considered to derive an appropriate solution. The major factors that determine server price include the following.

  • CPU Model: It is quite natural for high-performing CPU to cost more. Entry-level CPU will be the right choice for most small businesses unless specifications are desired. CPU comes with different core counts, cache and clock speeds. When CPU vendor is concerned, it is Intel that occupies the top slot followed by AMD providing Ryzen chips.
  • Form Factor: When compared to Tower servers, Rack servers are quite expensive. 
  • RAM Amount: RAM is generally purchased in multiples of 16 or 8 GB. 16 or 32 GB of RAM is sufficient for most small businesses. But if you plan to use database software or virtualization, then 64 or 128 GB will be essential.

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Remember, CPU costs are likely to vary significantly. Therefore, check out the CPU generation offered carefully. In addition, Intel is known to update its CPU regularly. Hence, when investing in a server, you should always choose the latest generation. Only then will you benefit from its performance as well as derive energy efficiency gains. 

How much does a server cost – Remote Management, OS, Warranty

  • OS: Windows Server Essential vs. CALs + Windows Server
  • Remote Management: Remote management cards are offered with servers. They are essential to manage or monitor remotely the server. The cards enable you to check the server operating environment, status and overall health. 
  • For Virtualization, you have to invest in Hyper-V or VMWare.
  • Warranty: Server warranty helps cover disk and component failures. Reputed server vendors provide the next business day or same-day hardware warranty or support. Remember, the server chosen should always come with a valid and appropriate warranty to get you covered. In case of disk or hardware failure, you should be able to contact the vendor to get immediate resolutions. The company should their engineer to fix or replace the damaged part. If you rely a lot on your server for efficient and smooth business operations, then it is indeed an invaluable service provided. Warranty is generally noticed by many as an ‘upsell’. It is mainly based on your experience to manage hundreds of server environments.

How much does a server cost – Storage & Disk

Type & number of disks to use: Disks are available of different capacity and performance levels. 

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  • NL-SAS: It is slightly improved than SATA Disks and is meant for enterprise use. However, it has similar capacity and performance.
  • SATA: They offer very high storage levels and are inexpensive. Their mechanical disks are fitted with moving parts. However, they offer average performance and are less reliable. 
  • SSD Drives: They are flash-based drives without moving parts and are the market’s fastest drives, but hundred times much faster. They are available in small sizes, quicker and also more reliable. 
  • SAS: They are more reliable and high-performing, but quite expensive. They are also mechanical disks available at two speeds, namely, 15k and 10k RPM. 

SSD is always recommended if you can afford it.

How much does a server cost – Conclusion

If you still feel confused about your server setup expenses, consult a reputed company for affordable solutions.

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