Should I Buy My Own Server?

 Should I Buy My Own Server?


If you’re reading this, then the question ‘Should I buy my own server’ has already piqued your interest. There are many scenarios where purchasing your own server can provide benefits, but before doing so it’s also important to understand some of the tradeoffs that come with it. By the end of this post, you will be able to properly evaluate your needs and understand if you should buy your own server.

Types of Servers

You’ve already started considering purchasing a server, but before really diving in it’s important we understand some of the different types of servers and where each hosting technique is optimal.  There is a spectrum of hosting options, and on the least-personalized side, we have shared hosting.  Shared hosting is not owning your own server, but rather pooling your resources together with several other people and sharing a server.

A common analogy for this type of hosting is living in an apartment. You pay rent, but do not own your residence. Much like renting there are some positives, but a big downfall is that you do not have the freedom to customize the server as you want (since others are also using it).  Another big issue with shared hosting is that if one user begins to grow Marketing and take up server space, their success can come at the cost of other user’s performance. In short, it’s cheap to get started but hard to create a well-refined experience.

On the other end of the spectrum is dedicated hosting. This is where you buy your own server, and it is completely yours to customize as you see fit. The biggest con here is that it is more expensive than shared hosting, but at the same time, you gain leverage over a lot more tools. Think of this as homeownership. There are also other hosting options in between the two, but for the sake of our original question, we just need to understand that there are ways to utilize both a shared server and a personalized one.

Serving Up Your Own Business

We know it’s possible to leverage a server without actually owning one, but how do we know if our specific scenario justifies bucking up the extra cash to get a dedicated server? There’s no simple one-word answer here, but there are several factors to take into consideration that can help steer you in the right direction. If you’re trying to host a server for your business here are some key scenarios to consider

1.       Is your team growing rapidly?

If you find your business is taking off and personal need a system to meet their demands, odds are you can’t keep existing on a shared server. To create a well-oiled business, multiple users are going to need access to the same data and have a well-designed system for sharing it. Tasks as simple as managing emails and meeting organization for large groups can make a huge difference in the success or failure of your team’s ability to meet its goals.

Tools like Microsoft Office are useful, but even Microsoft recommends that as you scale up you find a balance between their tools and a dedicated server. Having the ability to manage your team and mold sources of communication to fit their work style is priceless (not really, but you get the idea).

2.       Does your business need a secure database?

If your business handles payments (as most do) and manages user data there are compliances that you need to meet. Customers want to know that their information is safe, and as such things like PCI compliance require certain rules and regulations to be met. Having a dedicated server allows you to be sure that you are handling information with the right security streams and that no unwanted parties are involved.

The damage that could be done from security leaks goes beyond personal information though. Without a proper disaster recovery plan, you may lose access to information about a user’s rewards in your system or their past purchases. Either way that’s going to lead to unhappy customers. Security compliance doesn’t just protect your users either. Employees need their information to be stored in secure locations as well, so the less risk you expose your server to the better.  

3.       Do you need the increased performance?

We’ve already touched on it, but the simple fact is snappier sites keep users coming back.  If your site is dragging then it will lead to bad experiences and low user retention. An easy way to improve this is to move to a dedicated server and scale it up to meet your demand. Having a flexible hosting plan can be useful here to adjust your bandwidth as demand changes over the year as well.  There may be times your server gets a ton of foot traffic and times it’s a ghost town. You should always try to pay for exactly what you need.

One big threat to snappy sites is cybersecurity against things like Distributed Denial of Server (DDoS) attacks.  These attacks involve a malicious third party flooding your server with fake requests that bog it down, and if your server is busy responding to fake requests it can’t service real customers. Server DDoS protection is crucial in this day and age when buying your own server.

Fun and Games:

So far we’ve talked about using a server to meet your business needs, but it’s also very possible that you don’t have a business and want a server for other reasons. One of these being that you want to take your gaming to the next level. If you’re an avid gamer and are thinking of buying your own server here are a few things to consider:

1.       Do you want customization?

When you own your own server you gain the ability to customize it however you would like. For gaming, this means that you can leverage all sorts of mods to change gameplay. A popular example of this is Minecraft which has countless mods available. Applying some of these to your virtual world means that you can create a server unlike any others out there. And a unique world means unique gameplay.  Just make sure that the mods your applying are going to improve your gaming experience (this can be a trial and error process). With customization, you can also control who joins your server, so if you want to play with just a group of friends or grow a community this may be right for you.

2.       Are you trying to avoid poor gameplay?

Ok, yes that’s a loaded question. Of course, everyone wants to avoid poor gameplay. But what we mean is to what extent are you willing to utilize a dedicated server to dodge pitfalls that exist in certain games.  For one thing, your performance across the board is going to improve, but you also can begin to avoid issues like host tethering in ARK: Survival Evolved. Host tethering is when your player is only able to roam so far away from the server’s host without being rubber-banded back to them.  Having a dedicated server for this game allows users to not be dependent on one another and drastically improves the gaming experience.  This is just one example, but there are many others like it.

3.       Do you have the budget?

Buying your own server has all sorts of pros associated with it, but the simple fact is that you are buying it. The service doesn’t come for free, so it’s important to consider if the benefits you will be getting are worth the amount, you’ll have to pay in. There’s not much more to this topic, but the list of considerations would be incomplete without mentioning it.

Conclusion - Should I Buy My Own Server?

Buying your own server brings a lot to the table, but it’s not for everyone.  Some people can get by utilizing things like shared hosting, but if your checklist of requirements overlaps with any of those mentions above it may be worth considering. If you do decide that personal server hosting is right for you, make sure that you set one up through a trusted company so that you can be sure you’re getting a fair deal.

 

 

 


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