At Fusion we pride ourselves in recommending the right tool for the right
job, choosing the right server(s) for your business is one of the most
important decisions you will ever make!
A basic server can start at around £700 and can go up to thousands,
typically most servers we buy for clients range from about £1000 to £4000. We
visit many clients that have been sold servers that are essentially PC’s, these
type of ‘servers’ are not designed to be left on 24/7 and very rarely have any
form of redundancy.
What is redundancy? Let’s step away from computers and look at mechanical engineering,
aeroplanes you will be pleased to know usually have around 3 or 4 levels of
redundant components, this means if something fails there is at least 2 backup
systems. This is pretty reassuring to know when you are 35,000 feet up in the
air! In computing servers can have varying levels of redundancy, this usually
is in the form of additional hard drives, multiple power supplies, but can also
can also mean whole servers that are sat there in a redundant configuration,
sometimes in different parts of the world..
I have previously spoken about the benefits of having good UPS batterybackup and also the beauty of having multiple internet connections. Your IT
systems are only as resilient as your weakest link. For example you may have
the best UPS in the world (or a generator for that matter) and multiple
internet connections coming into the building, but if your server only has one
power supply and one hard drives these are massive single point of failure.
When we look at putting a new server in for a client we specify the server
on how critical it is to the client, we always make sure it comes with good
hardware warranty for the life of the machine, this way when a component does
fail we know we will have an hardware engineer out fast! As a bare minimum we
would put two disks (RAID1) into a server, these means that if any one of the
disks goes the server will still continue to operate. For our higher end
servers they will have two power supplies (Using two different UPS’s) and
probably a mixture of RAID1 disks for holding the operating system (Windows
Server) and a RAID5 (three or more disks with hot swappable spares in a fault
tolerant configuration) for the data.
Each year we tend to have a couple of client’s servers drives fail, it’s
usually around summertime when the server is running at higher temperatures!
Because we run all servers in a fault tolerant configuration and we monitor
them, it hasn’t caused any downtime for these clients. The engineer attends
site, installs the new disk and rebuilds the RAID and all is good again! If
they didn’t have redundant disks the whole site would have been down for
probably 48 hours whilst we got a new disk and then rebuilt the server from a
We also make sure that clients try and upgrade their servers every 4 – 6
years, this means that they can rely on having good quality kit and also benefit
from further advances in the newer versions of software and hardware.
Is your server up to the job you ask of it? Are you prepared to lose your
server for a few days because you tried to save a few pounds on the setup?
If you are not sure about this then please give us a ring on 08451221240 or