There are many factors that determine the cost of a typical home server, which we’ll discuss below. We’ll also talk about some other options, if the cost and inconvenience of a home server isn’t right for you.
It’s tough to try and ballpark the “typical” home server cost, because it’s going to vary enormously based upon the specifications you need. Once you have an idea of the specifications you require, however, you can start making a list of price points.
It’s worth pointing out that you cannot afford to “lowball” specifications on a home server. Remember, the load that you’re thinking it will need to carry right now might change dramatically in the future. Relatively small events can result in your server needing to handle much more than you expect right now, and you won’t be able to make sudden upgrades on the fly.
While costs vary a great deal, it’s vital that your server be ready for anything and be built with high quality components, so it is unlikely you will find a suitable server for less than $1000, and it could be much, much higher.
The initial server cost isn’t the only thing you need to factor in when determining whether or not a home server is the right resource choice for your needs. Servers run 24/7, and that requires power. Servers are also very sensitive to temperature, and overheating can cause a host of problems and damage. That means you need to factor in the cost of both energy to run the server, as well as the energy required to keep the server in a climate controlled environment. Those costs can be extremely significant.
Maintenance is a big deal for any sort of hardware that you depend on heavily, and home servers are no exception to this rule. It’s also important to do regular maintenance and checks to help avoid downtime down the road, since a server emergency can easily disrupt your organization’s site and overall functionality for hours, days, or even longer. If you don’t have IT savvy employees on staff, you’re also going to have to factor in paying for a specialist to perform regular maintenance.
Are There Other Options?
If owning your own home server sounds like it might be biting off more than you can chew, rest assured, there other options available to you. They’re affordable, too. For example, there are cloud hosting services, as well as server rental services. When you use cloud hosting or rent a server, all of the various costs listed above are bundled for you in a predictable, low monthly payment. Prices will vary of course, depending on what you need. But they’re very likely to come in at a reasonable rate when you consider utility costs, server prices, staffing and maintenance prices, and of course, upgrades.
That’s because when you own your own server, it falls on you to make any required upgrades, whereas hosting services upgrade their own equipment as needed.