Physical servers: Pros and cons

Physical servers: Pros and cons

Many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Charlotte leverage IT to increase their productivity and stay competitive. But given their limited budgets, they need to ensure that their tech investments are as cost-effective as possible.

For instance, if your organization is planning to set up servers, you must carefully pick between a physical and a virtual server infrastructure. To help you choose, we'll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both infrastructures in a two-part series. In the first part, we'll take a look at physical servers.

What is a physical server?

A physical server, also known as a bare-metal server, is a hardware server consisting of a CPU, memory, storage, and other internal hardware components contained in a physical case. It also has an operating system (OS) for running applications. Physical servers function like desktop computers but are bigger and more powerful.

A physical server infrastructure is usually composed of multiple hardware servers, with each running only a single OS and often only one program. For example, an infrastructure can have a dedicated database server, storage server, email server, and DNS server. Such infrastructure is usually managed on site or in off-site server farms.

What are the pros of using physical servers?

There are many reasons to go for a physical server infrastructure.

1. Better and consistent performance

Performance is commonly the main reason why companies prefer a physical server over a virtual one. A physical server does not encounter performance bottlenecks since its hardware resources are dedicated to its installed OS and programs.

2. 24/7 access to server resources

With your physical server infrastructure located on site, your IT staff can access it 24/7 and immediately take control of your organization's computing resources. This enables them to quickly troubleshoot server issues, which can be highly advantageous for high-demand or mission-critical operations.

3. Full customization

Having your own physical server infrastructure lets your IT team fully customize and configure the server based on your business’s unique requirements and specifications.

What are the cons of using physical servers?

Utilizing physical servers comes with a number of disadvantages, such as:

1. High upfront and maintenance costs

Setting up your own physical server infrastructure can be expensive because you have to spend on the following:

  • Hardware
  • OS and other programs
  • On-site installation and configuration
  • Rollout of cybersecurity and continuity measures
  • Salaries of IT staff

Aside from the initial costs, you’ll also have to pay for ongoing maintenance, management, updates, upgrades, troubleshooting, and replacement in case of server failure. If your IT team encounters issues with configuration or repairs, you may even need to hire a contractor.

2. Large physical footprint

Physical servers take up space. And since a physical server infrastructure typically includes multiple hardware servers, you’ll need a lot of real estate to accommodate all of that hardware. That’s physical space that might be beyond what SMBs can afford.

3. Increased energy costs

Physical servers are powerful machines that consume a lot of energy. This means the more servers you have, the more expensive your electricity bill will be.

4. Siloed management

Managing a physical server infrastructure can be challenging since it is not centralized. You need to work on every server in order to change configurations, roll out updates and upgrades, and back up data.

In the next blog, we'll discuss virtual servers and their pros and cons. We will also help you determine which server type best fits your company's needs. But no matter which one you choose, you can leverage SpectrumWise’s server setup and support service. This lets you enjoy 24/7 support and proactive maintenance, which will ensure your servers are working optimally at all times. Schedule a consultation with us today.