Using your own server can be practical in many situations. From hosting your own website, to larger, more complex services that require advanced setups, you can often save a lot of money by doing this in-house. At the same time, you get the benefit of having more control over your setup and more easily tweaking it to your liking. There are some points you should watch out for if you’re about to go down that road though. You will always encounter issues along the way and if you’re not careful, they can end up being quite costly.
Ensure You Can Provide Adequate Cooling
Cooling is an issue that many inexperienced server owners tend to underestimate. Just because the machine itself has integrated cooling doesn’t mean that this will suffice. That heat still has to go somewhere, and if you don’t have proper ventilation and cooling in the room where your servers are stored, you’re going to eventually run into problems. Even if you don’t need to spend any amount of time in that room, it’s not okay to leave it at perpetually high temperatures. This can wear out some of your hardware faster and become a costly problem in the long run.
Invest in High-end Parts from the Start
This should go without saying, but you should make it a point to invest in high-grade gear from the very beginning. You might be tempted to go with cheaper alternatives, especially for more expensive parts like your processors and power supply units, but you’ll only end up paying more in the long term if you do that. This is a long-term investment, and like many other similar cases, you can gain a lot from spending a bit more upfront.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to every single piece of equipment you’ll be using. You should try to find a good balance and do some research into the parts that can probably be cheaper for a start. You probably don’t need expensive cases, for example. Those are useful when you want your servers to be more modular and easily customisable, but you probably won’t benefit much from them initially.
Know How to Deal with Common Issues
No matter how well you might prepare, you’re always going to run into problems along the way sooner or later. Try to learn a thing or two about dealing with those issues so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on an expert to handle them for you. There are various problems that are pretty common in these environments and can usually be dealt with easily with the right preparation. Check out this list of common fibre optic issues that you may run into, for example – TVNET has done a good job summarising the situation and has provided some useful tips.
Have a Qualified Expert on Standby
On the other hand, you should still have the ability to understand when a situation calls for more qualified help and be prepared to get in touch with an appropriate contractor in those cases. You should ideally already know who you’re going to call well in advance. Having to search for a specialist on short notice can lead to disaster, or to higher bills in the best-case scenario. You will also benefit from having someone on retainer when it comes to more advanced issues, like customising your hardware and ensuring that your setup is properly organised for scaling up when the time comes for that.
Scale Up Sensibly
And that brings us to our final point. You’ll likely see various opportunities for expanding your server setup at some point. This can seem attractive even if you don’t need the extra resources yourself at the moment. You can still benefit from selling them to other companies or consumers. However, you should approach this carefully and ensure that you have a viable long-term plan. This is the kind of thing that can backfire easily if you’re not careful. You risk running into a situation where you can’t expand any further and you’re bottlenecked by the availability of your resources. And it can be hard to back out of that situation once you’ve gotten there. If you keep all those points in mind, it shouldn’t be that hard to set up your own server and maintain it in the long run. You’ll encounter some issues that require your full attention, but most of those are easy to plan for and shouldn’t give you too much trouble.