People often compare contracting for a managed server with leasing a server. What’s the difference? A ton. It’s like the difference between leasing a ship and taking a cruise or leasing a car and taking a cab. The difference isn’t just between a raw component and a complete service, it also impacts the total cost of total cost of ownership (TCO).
Here are some differences to compare between using a managed dedicated server and leasing a server:
#1 – Consider the Setup Costs: Who’s going to unpack, configure, test and start the server? It’s easy to underestimate the time and importance of setting up the server right the first time. If you don’t build the server properly, the software won’t run properly or it will be highly insecure.
Managed Dedicated Server: Online Tech sets up the hardware, tests it, mounts it in our server racks, installs the OS all patches, scans for viruses, sets up the security, networking and firewall, installs multiple OS add-ons and any other software you wish. Savings: $1,600.
#2 – Consider the Physical Security Costs: Where are you going to put the server? Will it be secure? Could the janitor pick it up and walk out with it?
Leased Server: For any level of security, you’ll need to commit to a data closet with a locked door, proper cooling, maybe webcams or biometric finger print reader, alarms and other systems to protect the server from physical damage or loss or at least provide some forensic evidence as to who stole it should it go missing. The closet with proper cooling can start at $1000.
Managed Dedicated Server: Online Tech places your dedicated server is in our SAS-70 audited data center with dual-factor authentication and biometrics for physical access, video cameras and locked in a secure private cage or rack. Savings: approximately $1000.
#3 – Consider the Quality of the Internet Connection: How are you going to connect your server to the Internet? Will it be secure? What happens if your internet connection goes down for a few hours? How expensive is an Internet failure?
Managed Dedicated Server: All Online Tech dedicated servers have dual, redundant connections to our redundant Cisco network which is connected to two separate Internet providers over gigabit fiber connections. It’s an infrastructure few companies can afford for themselves. Savings: $500 - $1000 upfront and $400 - $500 per month.
Managed Dedicated Server: All Online Tech dedicated servers are protected by hardware firewalls with an easy upgrade to the state of the art Universal Threat Management offering powered by WatchGuard. These provide protection against Port Scans, Intrusion Detection and other nefarious threats. Savings: $900 - $5800 plus $100 - $1000 per year on maintenance.
#5 – Consider the Costs of Backing Up Your Data: How are you going to backup the information on the server? How are you going to protect from data-loss due to fire, flood or theft of your data?
Managed Dedicated Server: Online Tech’s offers tape-less, no-touch onsite and offsite (replicated through our private network to a data center 50 miles away) backup, much more cost effectively than having someone come and pick up your tapes. Savings: $200 - $1000 plus 2-4 hours per week of time.
#6 – The Power Isn’t Free: Did you know that for some servers it can cost as much to power the server as it does to purchase it? When calculating the power costs, don’t forget the cooling. If you have a server that draws 500 watts of power, it will cost at least another 500 watts to cool it. 500 Watts of power costs about $40/month (.12 cents / KWHr), plus the cost to cool it is another $40/month – so that’s $80/month just for the power. And that’s “raw” power (see our blog entry on data center power). You also need to protect against power spikes and brownouts as they can actually damage the server.
Managed Dedicated Server: All dedicated servers at Online Tech are kept in one of our SAS-70 audited data centers which include industrial size Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) and at least one generator. Savings: $1000 - $1500 plus generator backups.
#7 – Monitoring Your Server 7x24: Servers are very reliable today. But the demand for them to work 7x24 has increased dramatically over the years. For this reason, many aspects of a server should be monitored. How are you going to monitor that the server is not low on disk space or running out of memory before you have a problem?
Managed Dedicated Server: At Online Tech we monitor your server from multiple monitoring locations (including some from other geographies on the Internet) so that we always know the state of your server. Any issues cause alarms to be immediately sent to multiple engineers who then will pounce on the problem and work to resolve the issue and get the server back on line. Savings: $10 - $50 per month plus response time to alarms.
Of course, managed servers come at a premium over leasing a server, but when you add up all of the factors involved in the total cost of setting up and maintaining a leased server for an always-on, always-online application, a dedicated server can deliver a significant cost savings, not in just the set-up of the server, but over the entire life of the server. Managed Servers can allow you to focus your money, management time and expertise on more core functions.